Ke’Bryan Hayes Gets Mentions as Potential Breakout Prospect

In the last two days, third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes has been mentioned twice as a potential breakout player, who just missed top 100 prospect lists. Jim Callis named him as the best third baseman, among players who missed the top 100 for MLB Pipeline. Callis based his list on the players who could see the most growth in 2016. The link includes a scouting video of Hayes from his senior year in high school last year.

Today, Keith Law followed up his top 100 list with the ten players who just missed his list(subscription required). Hayes was the main player mentioned in the article, getting the title and photo. He calls Hayes an elite defensive third baseman, who hits for average and makes hard contact, which should result in 30-40 doubles per season. He isn’t projected to hit for much power, probably 10-15 homers a season, but he should get his share of extra base hits.

While I personally like the potential of Hayes, it might be a little unrealistic for him to breakout this upcoming season, because it’s likely the Pirates give him an aggressive push to West Virginia. He would be one of the youngest players in the league and obviously going through a full season for the first time in his career. I expect him to hold his own in the league due to his defensive ability and strong plate approach, but I don’t expect him putting up a slash similar to the .308/.408/.346 line he had in his first season of pro ball last year. If he did put up a line similar to that though, then that could get him top 50 consideration for prospect lists around this time next year.

Just a reminder that Baseball America will post their top 100 list tonight, with the top 50 being announced on MLB Network at 9pm. We will have an article up shortly before that show starts if you want to follow along.

  • Great stuff about Hayes. He has done very well in his short time in the minors and it would be a real plus if he can continue at that pace. Seeing a lot of young guys coming up the past year or two and being able to be solid contributors on offense and defense in the majors – not beyond the realm of possibility.

    Got home late from a trip and caught a few plays by Ngoepe I think in the 7th inning when they were up on NZ 8-2. He looked very smooth.

  • The new app is pretty slick Tim. Well done!

  • Can anyone remember the last time a corner high school kid was regarded defensively as well as Hayes? Super, super rare to have that kind of quality so soon in his development.
    I also think there’s more power in that bat *if* they can teach him to get better extension through the ball and put him on a good strength training program. Good line drive bat path, loose swing, and fantastic timing between upper and lower half. Really, really solid swing for a high schooler.

    • Scott Rolen? And I only say that because I live in Philly. Someone will probably come up with a more recent example. He’ll be fun to follow.

    • Don’t know if you’d want to throw Machado into the mix or not. Not drafted as a corner IF, but was playing on in the majors two years after being drafted. Now he’s knocked out two GG’s in three years.

      With McGuire, Tucker, Newman, and Hayes taken with 4 of the last six first round draft picks…seems to be the draft strategy of the team…hitters who don’t strike out and field well.

  • Matthew Tutino
    February 12, 2016 1:29 pm

    why didnt you mention harold ramirez was in the same MLB pipeline story??

    Baseball Prospectus says a realistic ceiling for Josh Bell is Adrian Gonzalez. I can roll with that.

  • Since we are off topic I have to say that I never thought I would agree with Scott Boras on anything but looking at the recent international bonuses that are being paid to Cuban and other international free agents it sickens me. Teams are paying 16 years olds millions of dollars who if subject to the draft they might be 3rd round or later picks. Drafted players are limited to what they can get because of MLB pools and slotting. So a Cuban gets $15 million plus the team pays another $15 million in penalty and the number one pick in the draft is lucky to get $6 million. This is just rotten and calls for an international draft to correct this madness. It should not be a separate draft but rolled into the regular player draft. The draft rounds can increase to 50 or more to accommodate the additional players. Sorry to say this but once instituted the result may be similar to what happened in Puerto Rico. Once the PR players were included in the draft the quality of players diminished markedly. Without the under the table payments to buscons to get a player and the lack of money that will be available to pay the players, the talent might dry up as well. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    • Would love to see an analysis of what the ROI has been on Cuban signings. I actually think that teams are overpaying and wasting a ton of money on these guys.
      But I also think that the spending on unproven draft picks is a bit wacky also. Will be interesting to see if the players union can find a way to redirect dollars back to proven players in the coming CBA talks from BOTH international and draft signings.

      • Yeah the problem is that if you have a TV deal like the Dodgers you don’t have to worry about the ROI of anything else. Which is why they’ve made a mockery of the IFA scene.

      • By “proven” players, you’re talking about 30+ yo veterans on the downside of their career, correct?

        • Think the age peak has come back into the late 20s. PEDS made it possible for guys to put up great numbers in their mid to late 30s. But blowing $5M on a guy who may be an OK major league first baseman someday or $68M on a guy who has no position like Yasmeny Thomas is just stupid. Again – show me where the returns are – where the value creation and capture are coming from.

    • The LAST thing they should do is follow what happened in Puerto Rico.

    • As regards players coming from the DR, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, etc., they are predominantly teenagers and it made no sense whatsoever to subject an American-born player to a draft where the team owns the player’s rights for a number of years; meanwhile, Dominican born players are free to sign with whomever they’d like for as much as they can get (looking at you, Luis Heredia). The International Bonus pool has helped partially correct this problem.

      Cuban defectors are a different, unique story. Many of them aren’t teenagers. Some of them go straight to the majors (Cespedes). Allowing a team to control 6-7 years of their career and contract value after defection doesn’t seem right. Free agency may have to do here. Though someone like Lazarito should arguably be subject to a draft.

      For players from countries like Japan and Korea, the players are a variety of ages and experience. Nearly all of them will have their baseball rights owned by Japanese or Korean league team. Tough to “draft” these players when the first step is negotiating with their current team for their purchase.

      But overall, yes, I am in favor of more players being drafted. Perhaps thru some kind of International Draft that would include players under a certain age and/or with no International team’s control.

      • The draft is only legal in the US because of the CBA. US Law doesn’t apply overseas. So if an international player wants to sign with a team other than the one who signed him what is to stop him?

    • Based on my screen name, you could determine that I could speak for hours about how the draft has nearly killed the inflow of puertorican players. There’s no HS ball, no traveling leagues etc etc. the DR might be able to survive a draft based on all the academies that had been built, but I doubt that Venezuela would suffer the same fate as PR.

    • The NBA does it. I don’t know what the have to pay or do when they draft an international player, but they are in their draft.

  • Besides Keith Law has anyone else rated the Pirates overall minor league system?

  • A little off-topic heads up. Gift Ngoepe could be playing twice on MLB Network tomorrow. His South African team is in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers in Australia and they play New Zealand, in a game which will be shown at 2:30 am on MLB Network. If they win, then they will play Australia in the finals, with the winning team going on to the 2017 WBC. That game will be shown at 10pm tomorrow.

    Ngoepe is 0-for-7 with two walks so far, facing pitching that is AA quality at best. However, his defense has been outstanding both games, so it’s worth watching for that alone. I’ll be watching both games regardless(thank you DVR)because the final is a huge game for whichever two countries are in it.

    Both games will be shown live and technically they are being played on two different days in Australia, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.