The Phillies have signed Buddy Hayward, their 10th undrafted free-agent pitcher
The Philadelphia Phillies have signed another undrafted free-agent pitcher, righty Buddy Hayward out of Harvard University, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Breen. Listed as 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, Baseball America named Hayward the Ivy League’s top draft prospect in February.
Hayward, 21, made 23 career collegiate appearances and 13 starts; combined, he went 6-4 with a 4.19 ERA and 9.61 strikeouts per nine innings ratio, while allowing just six home runs and 29 walks across 88 innings.
As a freshman in 2018, Hayward was named three times as the Ivy League Rookie of the Week and struck out 47 batters while walking just nine across 40 frames. He led the team in strikeouts per nine innings, and even slugged two doubles and seven RBI across 48 at-bats at the plate.
The right-hander has also played in the Cape Cod Baseball League, where in 12 combined games in 2018 and 2019 he posted a 2.58 ERA.
Hayward underwent Tommy John surgery in December 2019. On his Instagram, he wrote: “All I want for Christmas is U(CL). Huge thank you to Dr. Ahmad and his team for making Tommy John surgery go as smoothly as possible. Time to start on the #roadtorecovery.”
Last month, Hayward threw his first pitches since the surgery and wrote on the social media platform: “20 weeks later and I’m beyond excited to get back to it!”
The Florida native is the 10th reported such free-agent pitching signing following the 2020 MLB Draft earlier this month; he joins right-handers Chase Antle (Coastal Carolina University), Blake Brown (UNC Asheville), Jonathan Hughes (Georgia Tech), Sam Jacobsak (Northeastern University), Noah Skirrow (Liberty University), and Billy Sullivan IV (University of Delaware); and southpaws Jordan Fowler (University of Central Missouri), Jake McKenna (Ocean City High School), and J.P. Woodward (Lafayette College).