Ke’Bryan Hayes And His Developing Power
Power can develop at a different pace for every hitter, and for Pittsburgh Pirates’ third base prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes his power development has picked up in a big way this season
Many people believe the biggest jump for baseball players in the minor leagues is from the High-A level to the Double-A level. In his first year at the Double-A level Ke’Bryan Hayes has found great success. This success has included the Pittsburgh Pirates’ third baseman prospect’s power beginning to develop.
When Hayes was drafted 32nd overall by the Pirates in 2015 he was best known for his defense. From the time he was drafted he was touted as a player that could be a Gold Glove caliber third baseman. However, there were always concerns about his offense.
Hayes had a good season for High-A Bradenton in 2017. He posted a .278/.345/.363/.708 slash line, .332 wOBA, and a 109 wRC+ for the Marauders. While his 2017 season was good enough to earn him a promotion to Double-A to start the 2018 season, one issue in 2017 was his lack of power.
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Hayes is just 21-years-old. Most hitters do not fully develop their power until they are in their mid or late 20s. It is also encouraging to see Hayes bounce back this season after his power numbers dipped some in 2017. His performance this season has also earned him a nod as an Eastern League All-Star.
The Eastern League is far from a hitter’s league. Additionally, People’s Natural Gas Field in Altoona is a pitcher’s park. These two factors make the development of Hayes’ power this season even more encouraging.
On top of being a plus defender at third base, Hayes has always had strong on base skills in the minor leagues as well. If his power continues to develop, then the Pirates will have a future starting third baseman on their hands in Hayes.
While Hayes will never be a big home run hitter he can be a gap power hitter that is a doubles machine. Remember everyone doubles are power, too.
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Due to his age and the fact he still has less than 1,300 professional plate appearances, odds are, Hayes will remain at Double-A all season. However, it would not be a surprise to see him start the 2019 season at Triple-A if he continues to hit the ball well for the Curve.