Pittsburgh Pirates News: Ke’Bryan Hayes not a Rookie of the Year Candidate
Yesterday, the end of season award finalists were announced. The Pittsburgh Pirates breakout rookie was not on the list for Rookie of the Year.
It was a disappointing year to be a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. It was hard to find a whole lot to cheer about with the team finishing the reason with the worst record in baseball. Although, there was one really bright spot that gave Bucco fans some hope for the future.
When the Pittsburgh Pirates called up Ke’Bryan Hayes, there was a relatively high expectation for the team’s top offensive prospect. Hayes not only met that expectation, but he looked like a player poised to be the face of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise sooner rather than later. Something Pirates fans really needed to see – a reason to be optimistic going forward.
In fact, Hayes appeared in just 24 games but still accumulated a 1.7 WAR, which was the highest on the team. This not only was the highest on the Pirates, but he was tied with Seattle Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis for the most WAR by a rookie. Unfortunately, this stat did not matter in this conversation and Hayes has been left off the ballet for the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
Here was the announcement for the American and National League Rookie of the Year Finalists.
Two infielders actually made it on the ballot in front of Hayes. The first on the graphic above is Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm. The second player is San Diego infielder Jake Cronenworth, who spent time at multiple positions. Finally, Brewers reliever Devin Williams made the list after putting up one of the most dominant seasons by a rookie reliever.
While all of those players had noteworthy seasons, they were not as good as Hayes. Hayes came up and quickly established himself as an All-Star caliber player, playing elite defense and hitting the ball better than anyone anticipated. The fact that both infielders had less value offensively and defensively as measured by FanGraphs WAR makes it even more head-scratching that Hayes wasn’t put into consideration. The good news is that Hayes will keep his rookie eligibility for next season.