#48- Ke’Bryan Hayes, Third Baseman
When the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Ke’Bryan Hayes back in 2015 during the Compensation part of the first round, many expected Hayes to be the future third baseman of the team. Hayes is more than on track to become just that. While his father, Charlie Hayes, played a long time in the MLB at third base, many have expectations for the younger Hayes to become even better.
Since he was drafted, Hayes was noted as a rising prospect, getting better as the draft became closer. His career in the minors has worked like that too. His first few seasons Hayes was noted for his glove more than his bat. In 2017, Hayes won a Minor League Gold Glove as the best overall defender in the minors at third base. To go along with that Gold Glove, Hayes put up a solid slash line of .278/.345/.363. While it is a decent batting average and solid on-base percentage, Hayes showed a lack of power (two home runs).
His bat did not really start to break out until this past season. Hayes played all season at Double-A Altoona in 2018 and posted a slash line of .293/.375/.444 with seven home runs in 117 games. Hayes did this in a league known as a more pitcher-friendly league. Meanwhile, he brought back another minor league Gold Glove. This led to him making the MLB Futures Game and a Top 50 ranking on this year’s list.