Pittsburgh Pirates: Analyzing Best Position Player Prospect Tools
By Noah Wright
FanGraphs: 70 Current/Future
MLB Pipeline: 75
Hayes reappears on this list once again, this time for his fielding prowess. Throughout the minor leagues, Hayes was a solid batter, but his defense was among the best. Currently, he’s one of, if not the best professional third baseman when it comes to defense.
FanGraphs sees his fielding as a 70-grade tool. They also see him as the second best defender, regardless of position, among all prospects with only Atlanta Braves’ center fielder Cristian Pache outranking the third baseman. His 75-grade on MLB Pipeline also only falls behind Pache, but being one grade shy of the top grade is still in elite range. He also has a strong arm with a 60-grade on FanGraphs and MLB Pipeline.
Hayes put that glove work on display with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Despite playing just under 200 innings at the hot corner, Hayes was 6th overall in Defensive Runs Saved among all third basemen with at least 150 innings played at the positon with +4. The only National League third basemen who outpaced Hayes were Nolan Arenado, Manny Machado and Carter Kieboom. Hayes also had a strong 8.9 UZR/150. Hayes is definitely a player who could end Arenado’s streak of eight straight Gold Glove awards.