Joseph Talley Haines
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 205 lb.
- Schools Freed-Hardeman University, Southeast Missouri State University
- High School Cape Central High School
Talley Haines pitched in AAA in 7 of his 9 minor league seasons yet never made the major leagues.
Haines began his journey in 1998 after being picked out of Freed-Hardeman University; had he made the majors, he would have been the second Freed-Hardeman alumnus to The Show after Kerby Farrell. Talley was chosen in the 25th round of the 1998 amateur draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, hardly a promising start.
He debuted as a pro with the 1998 Princeton Devil Rays, going 2-3 with two saves and a 5.19 ERA in 27 outings, with 54 hits in 43 1/3 IP. In 1999, the right-hander spent most of the year with the Charleston RiverDogs, where he was 3-2 with 18 saves, a 3.25 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. He also tossed 4 1/3 shutout innings with one hit and no walks for the St. Petersburg Devil Rays. It would be the last season in which he did not appear in AAA.
Talley split 2000 between St. Petersburg (2-1, 3 Sv, 2.78), the AA Orlando Rays (3-3, 3 Sv, 1.49 in 33 G) and the Durham Bulls (0-1, 4 R in 1 1/3 IP). The Missouri native split 2001 between Orlando (6-6, 8 Sv, 3.64, 73 K in 71 2/3 IP over 58 G) and Durham (0 R in 2 IP, save). He led Devil Rays farmhands in games pitched and was 3 appearances behind Southern League leader Chris Booker.
The tall hurler spent his next three seasons one step from the bigs. With Durham in 2002, he was 4-7 with a 4.52 ERA in 48 games, getting the most work on the club. The next year, Talley went 5-3 with two saves and a 2.53 ERA in 50 outings for Durham. He allowed only a .227 average and a WHIP of 1.01 but did not get called up to a Devil Rays team that finished the campaign with 99 defeats.
Haines was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2003 Rule V Draft. Sent to the Syracuse SkyChiefs for 2004, he posted a 4-2, 3 save, 3.87 record in 44 games, again putting up respectable numbers but remaining on the farm as his MLB organization sputtered (Toronto lost 94 games).
Talley split 2005 between the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox chains, appearing with the Portland Sea Dogs (0-1, 1 R in 10 1/3 IP), West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (4-2, 13 Sv, 1.78, 2 BB in 25 1/3 IP) and Iowa Cubs (2-1, 2.36, 29 K in 26 2/3 IP).
That got Haines a spot on Team USA for the 2005 Baseball World Cup. The 28-year-old appeared in four games, third on the squad, going 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA and .200 opponent average. He got the victory versus Australia.
Overall, Talley had gone 40-35 with 53 saves and a 3.32 ERA in 415 games in the minor leagues.
Haines later was an associate scout for Tampa Bay and pitching coach for a summer collegiate team, the Danville Dans.