Pittsburgh Pirates 2016 Top Prospects: #10 – Ke’Bryan Hayes

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While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks. The reports will only be available to site subscribers, including those with a monthly plan. You can subscribe here, and if you like these reports, be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site to get much more analysis on every player in the system.

To recap the countdown so far:

20. Willy Garcia, RF
19. Clay Holmes, RHP
18. Mitch Keller, RHP
17. Max Moroff, 2B
16. Chad Kuhl, RHP
15. Cole Tucker, SS
14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP
13. Steven Brault, LHP
12. Yeudy Garcia, RHP
11. Kevin Newman, SS

We continue the countdown with the number 10 prospect, Ke’Bryan Hayes.

10. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B

Hayes was one of the more surprising players from the Pirates’ 2015 draft, which is saying something since the expectations were already high for the first round pick. He was touted as a guy who could hit for average, drive the ball to the gaps, and possibly have some power potential, but who would ultimately have his value driven by his defense at third base.

The defense lived up to the reputation. Hayes is a smooth fielder with a strong arm and good glove work. He’s got good reaction times, which is necessary at the hot corner, and doesn’t look like a guy who will grow out of the position or decline and move to another spot.

A big reason for his defensive success is due to his dedication to staying in good physical shape. Hayes took it upon himself to undergo an intense physical training routine in high school, centered around biking, and got in great shape. He might not have been a first round pick without the training, and also would have been questionable to stick at third for the long-term. He has maintained that dedication to his fitness, which is why he projects to remain at third for the long-term.

Offensively, Hayes made solid contact, driving the ball to the gaps and showing the potential to have some power in the future. He’s got the type of short, quick swing the Pirates like, and his plate patience combined with the swing gives him a chance to hit for average in the upper levels. The defense will be there, and if the power develops, Hayes could end up a very talented Major Leaguer. Even if the power doesn’t develop, his defense at third should make him a starter in the majors one day, with average or better overall value.

Hayes is the son of former MLB player Charlie Hayes, who played third base for the Pirates in the 90s. Third base is thin throughout the Pirates’ system, and Hayes immediately becomes the top prospect in the system at the spot. He projects to eventually follow in his father’s steps and play third base for the Pirates one day. He could get an aggressive push next year to West Virginia, and if the bat holds up well, he could move quickly through the system in future years.

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  • The development of Hayes is Ke’ to the Pirates’ system.


    I’ll show myself out.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    January 25, 2016 12:22 pm

    IMHO, our best draft selection in the past 2 drafts….he has upside and pedigree….and will only get better as he moves through the system….looking at the guys in this 11-20 list, I don’t see anyone who I would consider putting ahead of Hayes….with Garcia (pitcher) and Tarpley as the only possibilities…this seems like a good slot for Hayes…

  • For the skeptics here, please note that the Pirates have the #2 RHP prospect according to MLB.com (Glasnow), #3 C (McGuire), #2 1B (Bell), #3 2B (Hanson), #6 3B (Hayes), and #4 OF (Meadows).

    This is damned impressive.

    • You left off the #6 C (Diaz)

    • And I could see a few guys in our system forcing their way into those top-tens with strong seasons this year, among them Newman, Tarpley, and Harold Ramirez, and some of our high-upside prep arms. Depth and quality both.

      And with a chance to graduate up to five players to the Majors this year, we may start to truly feel the benefits of that depth and quality. Even if they don’t reach their ceilings, all of Glasnow, Taillon, Bell, Diaz, and Hanson have the tools to at least be contributors in some capacity to the Major League roster.

    • Plan the parade now. Just like in 98.

      • 98? I seemed to remember that the teams prior to 98 MISSED the playoffs. Maybe I’m missing something here . . . ?

    • It is very impressive. Now the important part begins, translating those guys into contributing at the ML level!

  • Based on the photo it looks like Ke’Bryan Hayes is prepared for his future life. I like seeing young adults look professional.

  • If Ke’Bryan is as good as his dad, we are in for a treat.

    If he is BETTER, look out!

    He was taken after Newman, but I predict he will have a much better career than Newman.

    • I think I agree with you Lee. I think Hayes might not have massive upside but he hopefully should at least be a 30 double/15 hr that draws more walks than his dad did and plays nice defense. A 2-3 war player at 3B who gets to the majors quickly would be nice. When I think of Newman I think of mark grudzielanek or maybe the lesser version. You could do a lot worse than another version of grudzielanek and Hayes for 6-7 years.

      • I think another comp for Newman is David Eckstein.

        • Eckstein got 1 or 2 hof votes. Way to waste a vote mussina or bagwell or Tim Raines could be getting. They should have their right to vote taken away.

          • only one of many reasons why HOF is a farce.

            • I wouldn’t call it a farce. It’s not the gold glove award. But it is definitely flawed. I always hoped for a tier approach to reward near HOF players that we all loved. To go to a Hall of fame and not see guys like an Alan Trammel, Lout Whiaker, Bernie Williams, even a Jason Kendall or Brian Giles type players…guys who were truly elite for just short of what it takes to get in is bad for the fan I think. Then to see a guy like Mussina wait and wait is asinine. Moose is far better than a Jack Morris and every bit Bert Blyleven, or better. There is just a percentage of voter, maybe 20-40% who just don’t get it.

            • You have a Hall where a Harold Baines or Fred McGriff don’t get a mention. Dumb.

  • Didn’t Charlie Hayes play a lot more for the Phillies at 3rd?

    • His dad played over 1500 games in the majors, so the younger Hayes would be lucky to put in that many games. Charlie played 519 games for the Phillies, which is the most he played for one team

      • “for the pirates” i think is the operative words Dyoung used- and I agree. less than 1 year with the numbers charlie put up, would definitely be a failure. I’d rather him play 1000 games, but have him actually be a good player, charlie was not good, he was “acceptable”

        • While I agree with what you said, I wasn’t commenting towards Dyoung, it was a response to the comment under his

      • John, Is Hayes rated higher than Bell was after his first and even second professional year? I recall the Bell injuries and the circumstances of his $5M bonus….but I don’t remember and can’t readily find his ranking within the system back then.

        • Lowest Bell has ever been is #8 in the system. The big thing this year though, is that the Pirates could graduate five of the top nine prospects in the system, so Hayes could go to #5 next year just by keeping status quo. He could be the same player and be a top five prospect, so knowing the strength of the system is important too.

  • I hope he plays 3rd base for the Pirates longer and better then I remember his father doing… It’s nice to have a strong 3rd base prospect in the system, has been a while.

  • Sounds like a good reason to make the trip to Charleston this year.
    Of course its always a good day when you get to see The Power play.