Pittsburgh Pirates: Examining MLB Pipeline’s 2020 Top 30 List

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates, Mitch Keller
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

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.

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