Hayes begins his first season with the Ducks and sixth in professional baseball. The right-hander heads to Long Island after pitching with the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League in 2022. In 19 appearances, he compiled a 1-2 record with a 2.74 ERA, six saves and 28 strikeouts over 23 innings of work. He struck out six batters over three scoreless innings in his season debut and did not allow an earned run in 16 of his 19 games. The 27-year-old also pitched in seven games during the 2021 season with the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association.
The Tennessee native began his career by spending four seasons in the Baltimore Orioles organization (2017-21), reaching as high as Double-A Bowie. During his time in the Orioles system, he pitched in 66 games, three of which were starts. During that span, he totaled 16 saves and 88 strikeouts over 97.2 innings of work. In 2019, the righty accrued a 3.22 ERA in 22 games at the Single-A level, adding four saves and 37 strikeouts in 36.1 innings. Hayes was originally selected by the Orioles in the 13th round of the 2017 amateur draft from Vanderbilt University.