Brian Kelly Dayett
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 180 lb.
- School Saint Leo University
- High School Valley Regional High School
- Debut September 11, 1983
- Final Game October 3, 1987
- Born January 22, 1957 in New London, CT USA
Brian Dayett was a professional baseball player for 14 years, spending 9 years in the US minors, parts of four years in the majors and then four years in Japan. He later managed and coached in the minor leagues.
1978-1980: The early years
Out of college, Dayett was drafted by the Yankees in the 16th round (416th overall) in the 1978 amateur draft. In '78, Brian fielded just .902 as the third baseman for the Oneonta Yankees. He hit .309/~.423/.547 though and stole 22 in 27 tries. He tied for ninth in the New York-Penn League in batting average and split All-Star honors at third with James W. Mitchell. Dayett's 20 doubles (in 68 games) tied for the league lead as well. His 63 RBI were a club record for 20 years until Brian August broke the mark.
In 1979, Brian batted .256/~.325/.389 for the West Haven Yankees; he had no shot at an All-Star spot that year as Wade Boggs took home the honors in the Eastern League after returning to the circuit for another crack. In '80, Dayett bounced around the Yankee system. His lines were .438/~.509/.771 with the Alexandria Dukes (13 games), .247/~.358/.384 with the Fort Lauderdale Yankees (52 games) and .210/~.296/.290 with the Nashville Sounds (35 games).
1981-1982: Making sounds
He then remained in Nashville for a couple years. For the 1981 Sounds, he batted .269 with 18 homers. The next year, he smacked 34 homers and drove in 96 while posting a .280 average. He was 4th in the Southern League in RBI and second to Mike Fuentes in home runs hit. He won the SL MVP award that year.
1983-1986: AAA and the majors
Brian had his best AAA season in his first year there. At age 26, when many players are peaking, he put up a .288/~.397/.587 line for the Columbus Clippers. He led the International League in home runs (35), RBI (108) and total bases and trailed Brad Komminsk in slugging percentage. Dayett scored 105 runs and tied for third in the league with 28 doubles. Along with Otis Nixon and Komminsk, he was an IL All-Star outfielder. He tied Bob Bailey's 21-year-old club record for RBI and set a franchise record in home runs, topping Bob Robertson's 14-year-old mark by one. He made his debut on September 11, 1983 at the age of 26, appearing as a pinch hitter for Omar Moreno. He collected a hit in his first at-bat. He ended up hitting .207/.258/.276 in his rookie season with zero home runs in 11 games.
His major league batting averages went up as he got older. He broke in hitting .207, hit around .240 in his next couple years, then hit .269 and in his last season hit .277.
In '84, Dayett started the year back in Columbus as Dave Winfield, Moreno and Ken Griffey Sr. were all veterans and held down the outfield spots. Brian batted a solid .301/~.383/.464 in 45 games for Columbus, leading to his return to New York in mid-June. There, he served as a backup for Steve Kemp, often replacing Kemp in the later innings as a fresh set of legs. Brian batted .244/.295/.402 for the 1984 Yankees for a respectable 95 OPS+.
On December 4, he was traded with Ray Fontenot to the Chicago Cubs for Porfi Altamirano, Rich Bordi, Henry Cotto and Ron Hassey. Brian was used as a pinch-hitter and defensive sub for the 1985 Cubs but after a .231/.259/.346 line in 22 games, he never appeared again for Chicago that year. His only home run with Chicago that year was a pinch-hit grand slam. He batted .378/~.477/.568 in 14 games for the Iowa Cubs. Due to his limited playing time, one may speculate that he was injured.
Brian started the year with the 1986 Cubs but was sent back to Iowa after a 1 for 13 beginning. He batted .281/~.381/.521 for Iowa and led the American Association with 11 sacrifice flies. He was 4th in the AA in homers, five behind leader Lloyd McClendon, and was second in slugging, only four points behind leader Barry Larkin. He failed to make the league ALl-Star team, though. Returning to Chicago as a September call-up, Dayett hit .315/.333/.611 that last month, getting to play regularly for one of the few times in his major league career.
1987: A full year in the Show
Dayett got six to eight starts each month with the 1987 Cubs and also pinch-hit 36 times (hitting just .219/.306/.312 in that difficult role). When he was not pinch-hitting, he batted a solid .289/~.360/.476. He was used primarily in a platoon role, as he trashed left-handers to the tune of a .331/.391/.540 line in 124 AB. He hit a second grand slam in a 22-7 rout against the Astros on June 3. Overall, he earned $100,000 that year, the major league minimum at the time.
Major league career summarized
Overall in his major league career, he was mostly used as a pinch hitter and defensive replacement. In 218 games, he hit 14 home runs in 426 at-bats, although he did have a respectable .258/.316/.427 batting average and 99 OPS+. He did manage to hit 26 doubles. Incredibly slow by the time he reached the majors, he only attempted to steal a base once in his career, and was caught. He was a good fielder in terms of percentage, committing only one error in his MLB career for a .995 fielding percentage. He hit .274/.323/.451 against lefties, showing good clout and batted cleanup 21 times in the majors.
1988-1991: In Japan
Dayett signed with the Nippon Ham Fighters in 1988. He hit .243/.328/.365 for them in 35 games that year. In '89, he played regularly and batted .278/.359/.463 with 14 HR in 313 AB. In 1990, the outfielder-DH hit just .208/.313/.377 in 15 games, then rebounded with a .333/.364/.429 line in 11 games in '91.
Overall, he batted .268/.347/.430 in Nippon Pro Baseball with 21 HR in 523 AB, though he hit into 22 double plays.
After finishing up as a player, Brian opened a hunting goods store.
Coaching and managing career
In 2002, he was a coach for the Michigan Battle Cats, in 2003 was a coach for the Tri-City Valley Cats, and in 2004 was a coach with the Lexington Legends. In 2005-2008, he was a coach for the Clinton LumberKings. As the Rangers move their low-A team in 2009, Dayett moved to the Hickory Crawdads. He was then a coach for the Spokane Indians in 2010-2011.
Wore 62 for the Yankees, 24 for the Cubs and 9 for the Fighters.
Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record
|1998||Cook County Cheetahs||Heartland League||37-29||Independent Leagues||League Champs|
|2000||Winston-Salem Warthogs||Carolina League||68-71||4th||Chicago White Sox|
Include Japanbaseballdaily.com by Gary Garland, 1979-1981 and 1984-85 Baseball Guides, 1986-1987 Baseball America Statistics Reports, Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database, 1984 IL record book