Ke’Bryan Hayes will be the team’s starting third baseman
This is one that many fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates will be hoping comes to fruition. The past two seasons, Colin Moran has been the team’s primary third baseman. However, Moran has struggled during these two seasons.
Dating back to the start of the 2018 season Moran owns a .277/.331/.419 slash line with a 98 wRC+ and an 0.8 fWAR across 969 plate appearances in 293 games played. While hes been just below league average offensively, Moran has been a train wreck in the field. The past two seasons Moran has been responsible for -32 Defensive Runs Saved and -17 Outs Above Average.
It is time for the Ke’Bryan Hayes Era to begin in Pittsburgh.
Entering the spring, Hayes was already the team’s best defensive third baseman. Hell, after winning back-to-back minor league Gold Glove Awards, Hayes would already be one of the best defensive third basemen in all of Major League Baseball.
With Hayes’ defensive prowess, all it would take for him to be a massive upgrade over Moran is being average offensively. While he did struggle at times offensively at the Triple-A level last year, there is plenty of reason to believe he will take a step forward in 2020.
Last season, Hayes was among the best hitters in the minors in terms of exit velocity and hard contact rate. His problem was he hit too many balls on the ground. After spending the offseason working on fixing that, Hayes was among the team’s best hitters in Grapefruit League play.
With Hayes as a member of the team’s 60-man player pool, he has the opportunity to win a spot on the team’s Opening Day roster. Not only will that happen, he will do so as the team’s starting third baseman.