The Pirates Prospects 2016 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features prospect reports on everyone in the system, the 2016 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find. Subscribers to the site get free and discounted books, with Top Prospect subscribers getting the 2016 book for free, and Annual subscribers getting $10 off. Both levels of subscribers can also get the book for just $5. Details on all three promotions can be found on the products page, and you can subscribe to the site or upgrade your current plan on the subscriptions page.
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.