Pittsburgh Pirates: Is Ke’Bryan Hayes A Top 100 Prospect?

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Minors: The Pittsburgh Pirates have a prospect in third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, who no doubt should be a top 100 prospect to start next season.

In 2015, many fans were rather underwhelmed when the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Kevin Newman with their first-round pick.  Many fans felt it was a stretch to take the college shortstop with talent that was more highly regarded still on the board. He had solid tools, but maybe not the upside of the other prospects.  However, it became more clear why the Bucs reached somewhat on Newman as the draft went on and Newman made his professional début.  The Pittsburgh Pirates also had a compensation pick that year in the draft for losing catcher Russell Martin after offering him a qualifying offer.  They were compensated the number 32 pick overall in addition to their first-round pick.

With the pick, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected prep third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes.  Hayes was viewed as one of the fastest rising prospects in the draft.  Also, he was going to be one of the tougher signs from the prep ranks because of his quick rising stock.  However, the Bucs knew drafting Kevin Newman in the first round would allow them to save some of their draft budget to use toward the prep third baseman Hayes.


Hayes made an immediate impression once joining the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.  He showed off his hitting ability and his athleticism.  In his 56 games in the 2015 season, Hayes hit for a batting average of .308 and swiped eight bases.  He did this between the Gulf Coast League and Short-Season A ball.  In 2016 he was promoted to Low-A West Virginia.  He did not have as much success in 2016 mainly because of injuries.  In mid-June, he injured his ribs.  He tried to play through the injury and ended up hurting his stats more than helping.  He finished the year with a slash line of .266/.323/.397.


Entering the 2017 season, the main point of interest was how he would rebound from his injury and perform at High-A.  He not only rebounded well, but he had a season that should put him back in the conversation of being a top 100 prospect.  First off, he once again showed his hitting ability and athleticism.  He hit .278 and got on base at a .345 clip while being nearly three years younger than the Florida State League average.  He also swiped 27 bases and was only caught five times on the year.  Although he had a solid season at the plate, he was even more impressive in the field.  He was awarded the Minor League Third Base Gold Glove Award.  He was given this after posting the best fielding percentage in the history of the Florida State League.

Next: Minor League Notes

All in all, Hayes seems to really be developing. He bounced back offensively and was relatively healthy the whole season.  Also, he is showing that he is primed to be a very talented third baseman, a position that is considered thin in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system. He will likely start the year in Double-A next season.  He should also be a top 100 prospect, as he seems to be developing into a true all-around player.