Pittsburgh Pirates: 2021 Infield & Catcher Player Grades

Cody Flavell
Sep 26, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates designated hitter Colin Moran (19) celebrates with catcher Jacob Stallings (58) and third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes (13) after hitting a three run home run during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates designated hitter Colin Moran (19) celebrates with catcher Jacob Stallings (58) and third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes (13) after hitting a three run home run during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 24: Ke’Bryan Hayes #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 24, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 24: Ke’Bryan Hayes #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on September 24, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Ke’Bryan Hayes

GRADE: B-

2021 Stats: 96 games, .257/.316/.373, 6 home runs, 38 RBI, 2.4 WAR

Goodness, this kid is going to win a plethora of Gold Gloves over the course of his career. He doesn’t make errors and he makes so many flashy plays. Very soon, Ke’Bryan Hayes will be one of the guys that immediately pops in your head when someone mentions the Pirates. He’s a guy you build around.

Hayes’ September production in the truncated 2020 season was off the charts. Bright things certainly seemed like they were ahead for him offensively this season. Unfortunately, that never got to materialize.

Hayes broke a bone in his hand just two games into the season. He spent tons of time on the IL and finally returned on June 3rd and went 4-for-8 with a home run in his first two games back. The hope was that he’d continue that success. He clearly played through pain for the rest of the season and ended up going on the IL again with about a week left.

Hayes’ final hitting stats weren’t eye-popping and that likely had to do with his hand not being 100%. You have to admire him wanting to keep contributing and playing for a 100-loss team until it became a true lost cause.

He should rebound offensively next year and hopefully blossom into that franchise cornerstone. His defense alone grades him out a lot higher than he probably deserved because of his decreased offense.

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