First Round Pick, #31 Overall: Ke’Bryan Hayes, Third-Baseman
The day of the draft, Hayes name was being considered as one of the fastest rising names on team’s draft boards. Some of former big-league player and Pittsburgh Pirates Charlie Hayes, Ke’Bryan found himself being drafted at the back-end of the first round. Many considered Hayes the highest upside pick the Pittsburgh Pirates made. He showed why right away.
Ke’Bryan Hayes played his first 44 games at the Pittsburgh Pirates Gulf Coast League affiliate. He hit .333 in those games while compiling a .809 OPS. With this he got a crack at Short-Season A ball in Morgantown. The New York Penn League typically consists of college level players, therefor it was a big step forward for the high school draft pick. In his short stint of 12 games at the NYPL he only batted .220.
This year Hayes opened up at the Pittsburgh Pirates Low-A affiliate the West Virginia Power. He has spent all season there. At the end of the first month the third-base prospect was hitting closer to .400. Since he has come down to earth, but he still putting together a good season. On the year he is batting .267 with a .724 OPS. Still, he is holding up in first full major league season pretty well for being just 19 years of age.
Second Round Pick, Kevin Kramer, Second Baseman
Kramer was another pick that many fans did not like. With higher upside names still left on the board, and many feeling the team reached on their first round pick Newman, fans did not want to hear that the Pirates drafted a second baseman who had average tools. However, Kramer has shown much better than what people’s expectations for him were.
In 2015, Kramer did the exact opposite of Kevin Newman. He also started in the New York Penn League affiliate at Short-Season A Morgantown and he batted a solid .305. He then was promoted up to Low-A West Virginia for 12 games and only hit .240.
Like Newman, Kramer started the 2016 year at High-A Bradenton. He has not put up the numbers Newman has at High-A, but he has put up a really strong season. On the year Kramer is batting .281 with a .734 OPS. The former UCLA Bruin is still at High-A, but will find himself at Double-A sooner rather than later.
Next: Hughston and Taylor