#30 – Third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes
Ke’Bryan Hayes is the number 30 prospect on FanGraphs the BOARD and is actually the highest ranked third base prospect in all of baseball. Drafted with the 32nd pick in the first round of the 2015 draft, Hayes definitely is expected to have an impact on the club’s future.
Even though Hayes is a highly rated prospect, his offensive capabilities are still unknown. It is pretty safe to say that Hayes is not a power guy, as he has hit 10 or less home runs every season. Last season Hayes did post his highest ISO (power hitting metric), slightly above the league average at .150, but this cost him considerably in other areas of his game. His overall offensive numbers were career worst as he slashed .261/.334/.411 and had a below average wRC+ metric, 92, over 480 plate appearances at Triple-A Indianapolis. This is very different from Hayes numbers at Double-A Altoona where he slashed .293/.375/.444with a well above average 129 wRC+.
While Hayes offense might be in question, his defense is not. Last season Hayes won his third straight minor league Golden Glove. Hayes is highly regarded as one of the best defensive prospects in baseball and is the best defensive prospect the Pirates have in their organization.
Colin Moran currently occupies third base for the Pirates. While Moran is not a bad player, Hayes is a far better defender than Moran, and has the potential to better offensive player as well. Since Hayes has a full season of Triple-A under his belt, success during Spring Training and early in the Triple-A season will make him a prime post-super two call up (estimated early-mid June). With Cherington’s emphasis on defense and prospect development, Hayes could easily earn a starting role on the Big League club and end the season as the Pirate with the most games started at third.