Ke’Bryan Hayes Is A Star Just Getting Startedby Jamie Gatlin December 17, 2020 0 comments
For the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2020 was one of their worst seasons in recent memory. The Pirates finished with the worst record in baseball and saw many of their young players struggle. However, one of the few bright spots was the major league debut and play of third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes. Pittsburgh’s talented infielder arrived in the majors on September 1 and provided hope for the future. In 2021 he will be looking to carry that success into his first full major league season.
In 2020 Hayes appeared in 24 games and quickly became a staple in the lineup. The Texas native hit .376 in 85 at-bats and drove in 11 runs adding a much-needed dynamic bat to the Pirates offense. Although Hayes was never known for his bat in the minors, he proved that he could hit major league pitching. The Pirates infielder also showed some pop as 12 of his hits went for extra bases.
8. Straight. Hits. 🔥
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 27, 2020
Additionally, Hayes excelled defensively, just as he did in the minors. In September he had a .985 fielding percentage and only recorded one error in 68 chances. Hayes has the talent to be one of the best defensive third basemen in baseball due to his athleticism and arm. Those skills were on full display in September.
Hayes Dominant 2020 and What Lies Ahead
As the Pirates continue to rebuild, Hayes is the star they will look to build around. Because he only appeared in 18 games in 2020, he will retain his rookie status next season. Hayes is already one of the favorites to win the rookie of the year award after finishing sixth in the 2020 voting. He affects the game in all areas and proved to be the Pirates best player last season.
Furthermore, Hayes joined elite company in 2020. In September, he had a hit in eight straight plate appearances, including a game where he went 5-5. The only other players in franchise history to have five hits in as many appearances are Roberto Clemente and Dick Groat. His play also drew praise from his Manager Derek Shelton, who said Hayes, “Never got out of his plan, you don’t see that in a lot of 23-year-old kids.”
Ke'Bryan Hayes smiling around the bases after his first career home run is a game-tying bomb is something you just love to seepic.twitter.com/WbCu7IpYWG
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) September 2, 2020
With 2020 in the books, Hayes led all Pirates hitters in average, on-base percentage, and slugging. For a rookie to do that is rare, showing just how high the ceiling is for the former first-round pick. While Hayes will have to make adjustments next season as pitchers learn his tendencies, the future is bright. That is a welcoming sign for Pittsburgh as Ke’Bryan Hayes is a star in the making that is just getting started.
Follow Jamie Gatlin On Twitter @JamieGatlin17
Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images