Pittsburgh Pirates to Promote 3B Prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes

TAMPA, FLORIDA - MARCH 10: Ke'Bryan Hayes #77 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during batting practice prior to the Grapefruit League spring training game against the New York Yankees at Steinbrenner Field on March 10, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - MARCH 10: Ke'Bryan Hayes #77 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during batting practice prior to the Grapefruit League spring training game against the New York Yankees at Steinbrenner Field on March 10, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Rejoice, Pittsburgh Pirate fans! It is officially Ke’Bryan Hayes season in Pittsburgh, as the team’s first round pick in the 2015 draft and number 2 prospect will be joining the team before the upcoming three-game home stand against Chicago.

The seats will be empty and the fan noise will be computer-generated, but what a better place to make your MLB debut than PNC Park? Especially for a prospect of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In what has been a down year for the Pittsburgh Pirates, fans have been eager to see Ke’Bryan Hayes promoted and the time has come.  The son of former Pirate Charlie Hayes is set to make his debut despite the team not making any roster-altering moves before today’s trade deadline.  No word has been given on the corresponding roster move that will be made to Hayes being promoted.

Although today’s MLB Trade Deadline was a bit of a boring day for Bucco fans, tomorrow night could be different.

Hayes has been the talk of the Pirates’ future since his selection in 2015 and in an unprecedented 2020 season, now seems to be the perfect time to take a look at his abilities at the major league level.

In his 2019 season at AAA Indianapolis, the three-time MiLB Gold Glove Award winner produced a .265/.336/.415 slash line with 10 home runs, 12 stolen bases and an eye-popping fielding percentage of .989.  While the 23-year-old will need to continue to improve offensively as he begins to develop at the big league level, the Pirates will be gaining a Gold Glove-caliber player the moment Hayes takes the field.

In a roster move today the Pirates reinstated Colin Moran from the seven-day concussion I.L. and optioned Will Craig back to the team’s satellite camp in Altoona.  While Moran previously spent time as the Pirates primary third baseman, he has seen most of his playing time at first base and DH this season and won’t be taking any at-bats away from Hayes.

After losing Phillip Evans for the year due to his scary collision with Gregory Polanco, the Pirates have been rotating between J.T. Riddle and Erik Gonzalez at third base with José Osuna also making spot-starts as well.  While Gonzalez has been solid both in the field and at the dish, Riddle is slashing just .150/.171/.275 and it is clearly Ke’Bryan Hayes time at third base as Gonzalez can be used at shortstop as well.

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With the Pirates being 10-21 and last in the N.L Central, there is no reason for Ke’Bryan Hayes not to be getting regular at-bats in this shortened season, along with the other young talent in Pittsburgh. There was talk of moving Adam Frazier prior to today’s deadline to open up some space in the Pirate’s infield loaded with young talent but that did not come to fruition.  While Frazier may be a better go-to option at the plate some nights, the team knows what to expect from Frazier and is aware of his ceiling.  The team does not know the ceiling of players Hayes, Cole Tucker at shortstop or even Kevin Newman at second base.  In an unprecedented year like 2020, it is the perfect time to take a look at what the future of the Pittsburgh Pirates could hold.

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