The Pittsburgh Pirates are apparently looking for third base help for the 2020 season. The help could be one step away from making his big league début.
Back in 2015, the Pittsburgh Pirates used their supplemental first-round pick to select Ke’Bryan Hayes. Hayes was a late riser moving up the draft board as the draft approached. Many scouts felt the Pittsburgh Pirates made a really good pick in taking the third baseman. In fact, the team also selected shortstop Kevin Newman, conceivably setting up their future left side of the infield.
When the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Ke’Bryan Hayes, there were two notable things that stood out about him. The first was that he is the son of former big league third baseman Charlie Hayes. The older Hayes had a solid big league career that spanned from 1988 to 2001. In 1996, he actually played for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The other notable thing about Ke’Bryan is his glove. Many scouts considered him one of the best fielders in the draft and definitely the best third baseman. One report even suggested that he would be in the Gold Glove running one day. Of course, there were some questions, mainly about his bat. His hitting greatly improved his senior year of high school, which is what made him go from a second-day pick to a top 50 selection.
One thing is for sure, Hayes’ glove has not disappointed. Over the last three years, he has won the Rawlings’ Minor League Gold Glove Award for third base. What is really impressive about this is that the Minor League Gold Gloves are given to any player in the minors, not just per minor league level. Hayes has separated himself as by far the best defensive third base prospect in baseball.
Recently MLB Pipeline named Hayes just that. The team at MLB Pipeline put out their “All- Defense” minor league team. This was made up of who the best player at each position is in the minor leagues. MLB Pipeline naturally had Ke’Bryan Hayes as the third baseman. Here is some of what the article had to say on the voting process for Hayes and the “All-Defense Team”:
“The second leading vote-getter in MLB Pipeline’s executive poll, Hayes garnered his third straight MiLB Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2019 and made all but three plays in 104 Triple-A games (.989 fielding percentage). Overall, Hayes has committed just 17 errors while recording a .974 fielding percentage in 331 professional games.”
Ke’Bryan Hayes spent all of 2019 at Triple-A Indianapolis. He is a right-handed hitter who posses decent power and has relatively strong plate discipline. He got off to a tough start last year, hitting .245 before the All-Star Break, but rebounded with a solid .290 average after the break. If Hayes can hit in the upper .200’s and play Gold Glove defense, he could be the long term answer at the hot corner.