Ke’Bryan Hayes Living Up to High Expectations

Ke’Bryan Hayes Living Up to High Expectations

by September 10, 2020 1 comment

With a 14-26 record at the MLB trade deadline, the Pirates remained quiet. For new general manager Ben Cherington, 2020 has been a year to assess what he has in his new franchise.

Over the past week, Cherington has gotten to see a crucial part of the future in top prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes. The Pirates’ third baseman has appeared in seven games so far and is already making his presence felt.

In the minors, Hayes was always highly-regarded because of his defense. Some have already pegged the former first-round pick as a future Gold Glove winner due to his overall athleticism. The only part of his game that had question marks was his bat. Through one week in the majors, Hayes has shown that he can be a threat offensively.

Through 24 at-bats, Hayes is hitting .333 with four runs batted in. The Pirates’ third baseman has eight hits, half of which have gone for extra bases. His two triple tie him with Bryan Reynolds for the most on the Pirates roster. Although Hayes has already struck out eight times, he has an .OPS of 1.197.

As the 2020 season enters its final chapter, the Pirates’ young players will be watched closely. As Ben Cherrington tries to build a contender, this Pirates’ roster will look different on Opening Day in 2021. Hayes figures to be a big piece of that lineup and beyond.

During Hayes’s brief major league career, he has displayed a high baseball IQ. The Texas native has shown an ability to think quickly on the base paths and has yet to record an error in the field. Many of the intangibles that made him a top prospect have translated to the majors and improved the Pirates’ play.

As the 2020 season winds down, Hayes will see most of his playing time at third base. While his offense has been a welcoming surprise, Hayes will need to cut down on his strikeouts. In five minor league seasons, the Pirates’ prospect only struck out 335 times and hit .279. In Hayes’s only Triple-A season last year, however, he struck out 90 times, which is his highest total at any level.

Furthermore, Hayes has not let those struggles affect his performance at the major league level. As the Pirates look for silver linings to what has been a difficult season, Hayes’s performance is one of the highlights. Although Hayes’s run in Pittsburgh has only begun, he has already lived up to the lofty expectations and knack for coming through in the clutch.

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