Hayes and Ramirez Listed Among Prospects Who Could Have Big 2016 Seasons

Jim Callis wrapped up his prospect coverage for the year with ┬álist of ten prospects who are poised to surge in 2016. He included two Pittsburgh Pirates on that list, third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes and outfielder Harold Ramirez.

Callis mentions that injuries have held Ramirez back, so if he’s able to remain healthy, this could be a big year for him. As we have mentioned as well, Ramirez could add a little more power to his game and that may begin to show up this upcoming season. He won’t be a power hitter, but 10-15 per year is within reach. He will be 21 years old next season and in a better league for hitters, as the Florida State League is not known for home runs. Ramirez played in a career-high 80 games this past season, plus he got in another 115 at-bats in winter ball. If he can get in 120 games with Altoona in 2016, we could see him become one of the top 25-50 prospects in the game.

Hayes could have a tough time becoming a top prospect in 2016 because he is likely to open up the year in West Virginia, where he will be one of the youngest players in full-season ball. In that scenario, you just hope players can hold their own in the league, while getting used to playing everyday and living on the road and riding on buses half the season. Hayes did get in 17 games with Morgantown(including playoffs) so that was a nice primer for the 2016 season, but as long as we see aggressive promotions with him, you probably won’t see big stats as well. If he does have a big 2016 season, then that would push him to top 100 prospect status.

  • Check out how many players have put up a WRC+ 160 or more in Florida State League at the age of 20. I don’t want to trade Harold Ramirez unless it is for a bundle.

  • I think hays should stay in spring training until short season ball open up in june, go to morgantown and see what happens.really I think no high school draft pick should go to full season ball in his second year. But I do think guys from the dsl can go to full season ball if you think they can handle it.

    • I think a player should earn his spot. If it means playing full season as a 19 year old recent HS grad then all the better. Never hold a player back just because its not normal. There have been plenty of players in the league at ages 19-21 and that can’t happen if you are at instructs instead if playing ball.

  • Also do you think Ramirez gets a full year in Altoona?

  • Stating the obvious here but I think the best case for Ramirez would be as a trade chip. I don’t think Meadows is going anywhere and most see him as the Cutch replacement. Marte is signed 2021, Polanco through 2020. Meadows would have to fail (which is possible with prospects) or Polanco would have to regress or not pan out. If Ramirez continues to hit and improve his status do you look to move him for a prospect at another position i.e. infield or pitching? Out of the two of them I would think they’d hold on to Meadows and move Ramirez.

    • Keep both you never know what will happen.

    • I see this the other direction. With Meadows and Ramirez available in the coming years, I think Cutch is the trade bait. It’s evident the Pirates will always be a lower mid tier payroll team and in order to remain competitive they MUST trade players like Cutch to continue the stream of young talent. I don’t see this as a “maybe” I see this as a “must”. I am a lifelong Pirate fan and I absolutely love them being competitive but I’m also a realist. This ownership group will never move the payroll in to the top 25% of the league. This is the only way the Pirates keep the winning window open. The winning window will slam shut if they don’t.

      On another note, I also think the Pirates ownership group need to make sure the management team (GM down) have a sense of security. That a “win or be fired mentality” never enters the conversation. If a “win or be fired” mentality enters the conversation this team will have a short window of winning. The management group must have the ability to trade players like Cutch and potentially have a step back year without job security being part of the conversation. Conversely, the management team must have a clear direction post trades.

      I have more to add but my little people are ready to go outside and play baseball.

      • Michael Sanders
        January 5, 2016 5:48 pm

        I wonder if McCutchen could negotiate a stake in the team as an extension as opposed to salary?

  • I am really sold on the talent of K. Hayes and think he is a superstar in the making.

    • I am not meaning to contradict you in any way, but what are your reasons? I am interested.

      • I won’t say I’m sold on the kid because he is still just that: a kid, but his plate discipline and work ethic are outstanding for such a young kid. From everything I’ve read to the videos I have seen, has such a mature approach to the plate and great compact swing. Sky is the limit for this kid. Very excited to see him progress this year.

        • He could be Bill Madlock with gold glove defense if everything goes right.

          • Wow. I like all this New Year optimism but let’s wait and see how he hits at AA minimum before we predict stardom.

      • Terry, he is a 5 tool player. I also remembered what the announcer said about KJ on MLB network [forgot his name but is the black guy], ” he is the steal of the draft and I scouted him in H.S. down in Texas”. I took his word for it.

    • If he is as good as his dad, that will be noteworthy.