Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes learning how to be a pro


Pittsburgh Pirates third-baseman prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes walks into the post-game media scrum with a tentative gait. Having just finished his first multi-hit game since being being called up to the New York-Penn League’s West Virginia Black Bears, one might expect Hayes to show more assured steps.

The realization that comes soon after his approach to the makeshift podium arrives at the same lightning speed that it had several times that same night.

Hayes is still just 18 years old.

The son of former major leaguer Charlie Hayes, the younger Hayes already strikes a profile. The 6’1″ 210-lb prospect projects as a third baseman with an excellent approach at the plate and a fantastic cross-diamond arm.  Widely regarded as a fine prospect –  with overall 2015 prospect rankings as high as 24th in some circles – Hayes became known for a good set of hands both at the plate and in the field, as well as carrying above-average defensive instincts. Pirates GM Neal Huntington thought enough of these tools to select Hayes with the 32nd overall selection in the 2015 MLB Draft,

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Hayes came into this night – the Black Bears’ home finale for their inaugural season – having gone six straight games without a strikeout. He would make good contact on this night to stretch that to seven, but for Black Bears manager Wyatt Toregas, he saw a lot more.

“I see a slow heartbeat [in Hayes].” Toregas told me after the game.”The game seems slow to him; he doesn’t get rushed; being 18 years old, that’s saying something at this level.”

Indeed, Hayes shows a great deal of patience when he has to. The youngster has a very advanced approach at the plate, and is trusting his coaching staff. He has also subscribed to the seemingly-organization wide approach of pouncing on fastballs, as his two hits came on the second pitch of each at bat. This more than anything else leads me to believe that he can grow into a very productive every day third baseman. His outs are hit hard. His defense is decisive. He has all of the tools of a major league third baseman – sans some power, which many think will come.

Toregas had more to say.

“In the field, very good hands, very calm…at the plate, good to start seeing him square some balls up. He has good hands, very calm; we’ve been trying to get him more comfortable, which is always hard sometimes when the scenery changes”

“I think he’s a major-leaguer, personally.” Torgeas concluded.

For more on Hayes, please listen to our special mini-podcast episode giving a complete look at Hayes’ including some audio from our talk –

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