Ke'Bryan Hayes
22-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
Pittsburgh Pirates AAA
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There are subtleties in Hayes' profile that make him a valuable fantasy commodity, but that are lost on many, which may make him the most underrated player in the prospect universe. He had just eight career homers in 231 games prior to reaching Double-A, then quietly had a power breakout last year that was muted by the extreme pitcher-friendly conditions in Altoona. He finished fourth in the Eastern League with 31 doubles and notched his best full-season ISO (.151) and SLG (.444) figures. His patience (11.2 BB%), bat-to-ball ability (16.5 K%) and all-fields approach (38.8 Pull%, 32.2 Oppo%) portend a plus hit tool and he has the speed to steal 15-to-20 bases annually. He is also a gold-glove caliber defender at third base, so playing time won't be an issue. This is the type of player who blows past his power estimates on minor-league scouting reports and leaves analysts scratching their heads. Given the Pirates' track record, he may be kept down until 2020. Read Past Outlooks
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Big game Thursday
3BPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
April 12, 2019
Hayes went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a homer against Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday.
The home run was his first at the Triple-A level. Hayes spent all of 2018 playing for Double-A Altoona, where he slashed .293/.375/.444 but with only seven homers in 437 at-bats. He followed that up by hitting .353 with three home runs in Grapefruit League action this spring. The third baseman has a solid skill set, but his fantasy value may be determined by his ability to hit for power. So far he's off to a good start in 2019.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Ke'Bryan Hayes
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
While he does a lot of things well, Hayes has yet to hit for the type of power we associate with quality third base prospects. He is an above-average runner and went 27-for-32 on stolen-base attempts last year. Hayes is also a high-caliber defensive third baseman, so there is no concern about his glove forcing a move. His 15.8 percent strikeout rate was the best mark in the Florida State League among hitters under 22, which not only demonstrates his contact skills, but suggests he has room to make adjustments that could unlock power without compromising his ability to hit for a high average. Additionally, he has a true all-fields approach (36.6 percent to the pull side, 38 percent to the opposite field), so the only thing lacking is that aforementioned power. At 21, he will be one of the youngest hitters at Double-A, so there is still time for him to become a well-rounded hitter, and he has the size (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) to unlock that power with more upper-level instruction.
Hayes got off to a hot start in 2016, hitting .343/.368/.457 in April for Low-A West Virginia. He batted only .236/.305/.374 in 205 plate appearances the rest of the way, but back and rib injuries may have contributed to his woes. The third baseman hasn't shown much power -- he's totaled six homers in two seasons (123 games). However, at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, he projects to grow into 20-plus homer power down the road to accompany what could be an above-average hit tool. Hayes, who turned 20 in January, remains several seasons away from potentially making an impact in the majors. He will likely spend most of 2017 at High-A Bradenton in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, where he will be tasked with showcasing a more patient approach while driving the ball to all fields.
The son of former major leaguer Charlie Hayes, Pittsburgh took the third baseman with the 32nd pick of the 2015 draft. He did well enough in the Gulf Coast League (.333/.434/.375) to earn a two-week promotion to the New York-Penn League. Though he failed to homer, the 19-year-old is expected to offer some power. He will begin 2016 back in the NYPL this summer or at Low-A West Virginia if the Bucs want to push him to a full-season affiliate for Opening Day. Fantasy owners will want to keep tabs on Hayes as he offers a strong batting average with potential for more, but he should be considered a long-term investment in dynasty formats.
More Fantasy News
Sent to minors
3BPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
March 18, 2019
The Pirates reassigned Hayes to minor-league camp Monday, Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
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Walks it off in grand style
3BPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
February 24, 2019
Hayes went 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs Sunday, including a walkoff grand slam against the Marlins.
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Headed to big-league camp
3BPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
January 5, 2019
The Pirates announced Saturday that Hayes would attend spring training with the big club, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
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Slumping since return
3BPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
August 29, 2018
Hayes has gone 4-for-18 (all singles) with two walks, five strikeouts and a stolen base in five games with Double-A Altoona since returning from a shoulder injury.
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Dealing with shoulder injury
3BPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
August 22, 2018
Hayes suffered a left shoulder contusion during Sunday's Double-A game and has yet to resume any game activities, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
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