Top Two Remain
Mitch Keller and Ke’Bryan Hayes rank as the team’s top two prospects entering the 2020 season. Entering last season it was a consensus who the Pittsburgh Pirates top hitting and pitching prospects were: Ke’Bryan Hayes and Mitch Keller. Keller was ranked as the team’s top overall prospect and Hayes came in at second overall. Both started the year in Triple-A, but of course, only Mitch Keller made it to the big leagues.
Keller had a tough start to his big league career and was actually demoted at one point. The big right-handed pitching prospect made 11 starts for the Pittsburgh Pirates and went 1-5 with an ERA over 7.00. One positive was that he struck out 65 batters in 48 innings pitched. Still, he posted a strong 3.56 ERA at Triple-A across 19 starts and is entering his age 24 season.
Unfortunately, Ke’Bryan Hayes never got a chance at the big league level in 2019. This was because he got off to a slow start with the bat. Across his first 63 games, he only hit for a .240 average but rebounded with a solid .290 average across his final 47 games. Overall he hit .261 with a career-high of 10 home runs. While there is more to hope for offensively, Hayes brought home his third consecutive Minor League Gold Glove.