The performance had Hayden's old assistant coach at Northern Kentucky University looking ahead, according to the Northern Kentucky Northerner.
"I think he's got the possibility of going to the major leagues in a few years," Charles Leftin told The Northerner at season's end. "It's just a matter of getting a little more experience."
Hayden went on to get more experience, including time at AAA. But, in six seasons, Hayden never made the majors.
Hayden's career began in 1985, taken by the Mets in the 19th round of the draft out of Northern Kentucky.
At Northern Kentucky, Hayden stole 60 bases in his only year at the school, 1985. The mark is still a school record for a season and sixth-best for career.
"I think he's kind of the catalyst," Hayden's coach Bill Aker told The Cincinnati Enquirer of Hayden that May. "With the speed he has, and he'll open up the offense for you as well."
Hayden quickly used his speed in the pros. He started with the Mets at rookie Kingsport. He hit .308 in 57 games and stole 24 bases. He moved to single-A Columbia for 1986, where he hit .322 and stole 85 bases.
He made AA Jackson in 1987. He knocked a two-run double to beat Tulsa in a June game. He also doubled and scored in a September playoff game. He stole 64 bases that year between Jackson and single-A Lynchburg.
Hayden returned to Jackson for 1988, while getting a brief three-game look at AAA Tidewater. He stole another 65 bases on the year.
He then saw brief time at Tidewater and Jackson in 1989, then moved to the Reds system. He split his time with the Reds between AAA Nashville and AA Chattanooga. He returned to Chattanooga for 1990, where he got into 93 games, hit .266 and stole 24 final bases, ending his career.
- Cincinnati Enquirer, May 25, 1985: NKU Speedster
- Northern Kentucky Northerner, Sept. 2, 1986: Former NKU star hitting .344 in Class A league
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,705
Made the Majors:1,033-38.2%
Never Made Majors:1,672-61.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 426
10+ Seasons in the Minors:263