In the third installment of the Farm Report, we will take a look at Pittsburgh Pirates’ top prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes. MLB Pipeline recently recognized Hayes as the second-best prospect at third base in the league. Hayes is an exciting prospect for the Pirates; he is not only the best defensive player in the Pirates system, but potentially in all of the farm systems.
Hayes’ largest drawback is his average bat and lack of power for his position. Through roughly the first 60 games, he got off to a rough start batting a .235 average with a lowly .339 slugging. In the final 46 games, he showed improvement with a .290 batting average and bumped his slugging up to a more respectable .415.
His power leaves more to be desired, although, he did hit for 10 home runs in 2019; the most of his minor league career. Hayes drove his fair share of runs in as well, knocking in 53 with the AAA club. One underrated aspect of his game no one talks about is his sneaky speed, as he has stolen 12 bases. In fact, since 2017 Hayes has stolen 12 or more bases annually.
The fun part of Ke’Bryan Hayes involves his defensive abilities. Over the past three years, Hayes has won the Minor League version of the Gold Glove. To add to it, he was named to the All-Defensive team by MLB Pipeline. In 899.0 innings, Hayes totaled 208 assists and only three errors on a .989 fielding percentage.
With the recent departure of Starling Marte, it’s safe to say no one is safe on the Pirates roster. That includes Hayes’ competition in Colin Moran. There is no doubt he will see MLB action this upcoming season, but we could see Hayes on the Opening Day roster if Moran is dealt before or during spring training.
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