Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin announced yesterday that he was remaining in Nashville. Just 10 hours after that decision, VandySports.com’s Mike Rapp broke the news that Corbin and Erik Bakich had landed coveted transfer candidate Drew Hayes.
Hayes will enter with this year’s class and be eligible to play immediately as a Sophomore. A 6’1″ 200 lb RHP, Hayes is described by Joshua Parrott of the Jackson Sun as having a body built like Casey Weathers, the former Vandy closer and #8 overall pick in this past draft. Parrott reports in today’s paper that Hayes will be given the opportunity to use his mid-90s heater to earn the right to close games on West End.
Corbin and Bakich were not unfamiliar with Hayes, nor are his new teammates. Hayes is most well associated with Mikie Minor, the Vanderbilt and Team-USA standout LHP. Minor and Hayes competed for honors as 2005-6′s top Tennessee baseball player. Minor ultimately drew the most acclaim, but Hayes bested the southpaw in the TSSAA State Championship game in an epic matchup. Hayes was recruited heavily by Vanderbilt; however, he chose to play at Bethel, where his father is the baseball head coach. Hayes batted .320 and carried a 6-4 record and 2.72 ERA on the hill.
Hayes joins another star-studded class of recruits that have all made it to Nashville without defection. Among them are Catcher Curtis Casali, LHP Kellen St. Luce, 1B/DH Aaron Westlake, LHP Ben Blanton, RHP Chase Reid, 1B Drew Fann, SS Gabe Ortiz, OF Joey Manning, LHP Sean Bierman and RHP Taylor Hill. Casali, Manning and Westlake are expected to push holdover starters at C, LF and 1B, respectively, while all six pitching recruits will join a solid redshirt class in replacing the six Vanderbilt pitchers who moved on to the professional ranks this year.
I would also be remiss if I did not link Kendall Rogers of Rivals.com‘s excellent article on Tim Corbin and the Oregon search. It touched on the topics I addressed in my late post last night, but Kendall actually attended the presser and knows Tim from attending a number of Vandy games and covering the Dores. It’s an outstanding read for those of you who aren’t sick of me talking about the Commodores yet.