2021 Pirate MVP – Ke’Bryan Hayes
This might be the easiest prediction to make for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2021. Ke’Bryan Hayes burst onto the scene last September hitting for a .376/.442/.682 slash line to go with a wRC+ of 195 in 95 plate appearances.
Hayes entered the 2020 season as one of the top 25-50 prospects in all of baseball. After his impressive MLB debut last season, he is now a top 10 prospect in baseball. Hayes has also already become the new face of the franchise for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Entering the 2021 season, Hayes is now ready to put himself on the map across all of MLB. Hayes is an elite defensive third baseman, as evident by his back-to-back minor league Gold Glove Awards in 2018 and 2019.
While the offense has not always been there for Hayes during his minor league career an above average exit velocity and hard hit rate were. Last season Hayes improved his ground ball issues that plagued him in the minors, while keep his above average exit velocity (92.8 MPH) and hard hit rate (55.4%).
Hayes has the tools needed to become the rare player who is an elite defender and an above average hitter. He also possesses plus speed and is a great base runner who could steal 15-20 bags a season. Hayes is a five-tool player at third base and already the Pirates’ best player. Not only will he be the team’s MVP this season, he may start to emerge as a potential future league MVP.