Tuesday, December 27, 2011

DAHOF Top 100 -- #78 Von Hayes

On December 9th, 1982 the Philadelphia Phillies sent five players (Jay Baller, Julio Franco, Manny Trillo, George Vukovich and Jerry Willard) to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Von Hayes. Hayes was a young left handed power hitter with enormous potential. He was projected to develop into the foundation of the franchise. He immediately brought youth to the aging Phillies of 1983, he was the only everyday position player under 30.

On the surface, it is easy to say the "5 for 1" Von Hayes deal was a bad one of the Phillies. The club gave up the slick and popular Manny Trillo, a solid bench player in Vuckovich, a future all-star in Julio Franco. Baller & Willard made no real impact in the majors. But if you really look at the deal, it wasn't a bad trade for the Phillies. The popular Phillies Nation blog did an analysis of the Von Hayes for 5 players trade last year and concluded the Phillies actually "took the Indians to the cleaners on that fateful day in December 1982".

Using catch all statistic WAR (wins above replacement):
Not only did Hayes generate more value for the Phillies than all of the players the Indians got put together, he did it from one roster spot.

In the end, Von Hayes spent 9 seasons in Philadelphia. While never living up to the MVP caliber projections, he produced some solid but not eye-popping numbers. He also played on some with some pretty dismal teams, never sniffing the playoffs after his first season. He was the Phillies only representative on the 1989 NL All Star team (Mike Schmidt retired in May, but was still elected as the starter at third base). He entered the game in the 8th inning, and had an RBI single.

My most vivid memory of Von Hayes came on June 11, 1985, when he became the first player in MLB history to hit two home runs in the first inning of a game. After leading off the game with a home run off Tom Gorman, Von Hayes hit a grand slam later that inning off Calvin Schiraldi. The Phillies won the game 26-7 over the Mets.


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