Bleacher Report has come out with an article discussing an exciting player for each MLB team. Here is what they had to say for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
With actual baseball within reach, I have been scouring the internet for as many lists, articles, hell even podcasts to get my fill. I have been searching for every scrap of news my sausage-like fingers could grasp. Typically I don’t go to Bleacher Report for much, but when it concerns the Pittsburgh Pirates, I absolutely glue my eyes to my screen to see what they had to say.
The article I’m referencing is a piece written by Joel Reuter about the most entertaining player to watch on each MLB team. Now, it’s obvious that the Pittsburgh Pirates do not have a Mike Trout, Fernando Tatis Jr, Aaron Judge or Clayton Kershaw, but they do have one hell of a talent whose home is PNC Park. I don’t think the name should take long to guess as to who Bleacher Report picked.
If you guessed anyone other than Ke’Bryan Hayes, we may need to have a talk. Hayes has found himself in the spotlight of not just the local media but the national media as well. There have even been talks of extending Hayes’s contract to solidify he is the cornerstone to this rebuild for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
His stats last year speak for themself with a .376/.442/.682 slash line along with an incredible 1.9 WAR in just 24 games played! There are a multitude of things to be said for the torrent pace Hayes was on to end the season last year, but the number one thing I noticed was how calm, cool, and collected he was for each at bat, which explains his 5-5 game with just 5 swings the entire night.
Reuter had this to say about Hayes:
"“Dark times lie ahead for a team that was already the worst in baseball before it traded Josh Bell, Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon this offseason. Ke’Bryan Hayes is the one player who could make the Buccos even remotely watchable. The 24-year-old hit .376/.442/.682 with 14 extra-base hits in 95 plate appearances while living up to his billing as an elite defensive third baseman, racking up 1.9 WAR to lead all rookies despite playing just 24 games.”"
Now with all of these exciting players to watch talk, it got me thinking of a few other dark horse candidates for the Pittsburgh Pirates to watch out for as well. I definitely think a guy like Bryan Reynolds will come back with a chip on his shoulder after a sub-par season last year. One player, I’m extremely interested to see is Mitch Keller. I think with a full season and having a pitching coach like Oscar Marin at his side Keller will perform up to snuff.
For the serious Pittsburgh Pirates fans who don’t just say, “blah blah blah Nutting sucks,” I want to hear your opinion on any dark horse candidates to have an exciting or breakout season. I look forward to your comments!