MLB Pipeline continued their rankings of the top ten prospects by position on Tuesday morning, looking at the top third basemen. For the second year in a row, Ke’Bryan Hayes made their top ten, finishing ninth on this year’s list.

The description on Hayes was brief, but they noted that he could end up being a better fielder and hitter than his father. That would be a nice find for the Pirates, because he father spent 14 seasons in the majors. They also noted that the younger Hayes is a breakout candidate this upcoming season.

Last year, MLB Pipeline ranked Hayes as the fifth best at his position. He then got an aggressive promotion to West Virginia as one of the youngest players in the league. Hayes hit .263/.319/.393 in 65 games before going down with a back injury. After missing six weeks, he attempted a rehab in the GCL, only to be shutdown after two games due to a cracked rib, which ended his season. Hayes turns 20 on Saturday.

Will Craig failed to make the top ten at third base, and wasn’t among the four honorable mentions, despite showing some strong on base skills during his debut in 2016. The first round draft pick hit .280/.412/.362 for Morgantown, putting together an impressive .856 OPS over his last 47 games. Even with a very slow start, he still finished second in the pitcher-friendly NYPL in OBP and ninth in OPS.

So far, the Pittsburgh Pirates have had three players make the top ten at their positions. Tyler Glasnow ranked second among right-handed pitchers, while Josh Bell was second for first basemen. MLB Pipeline will cover shortstop tomorrow, followed by outfielders on Thursday. On Saturday night, they will reveal their top 100 prospects live on MLB Network.

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  1. This is going to be exciting…
    Law put up another 20 prospects today – so only 40 to go….
    So it is clear that those two top prospects the Pirates should never have traded are coming up in the top 40. Can’t wait to see precisely where Law has them ranked. We KNOW they are top prospects – so they have to be in everyone’s top 100 dont they – DJK told me so and tons of folks on both his site and this one seem to agree.

  2. With Hayes showing up on Keith Law’s top 100, that should mean their are 6 Pirates Prospects in his top 100. Good showing!

    • Hayes earned a promotion to Lo A for 2016, where he showed he was able to adapt to the speed of the game at that level both with the bat and the glove. Craig played at Short-Season after being drafted and was excellent with the bat, but not very good at 3B defensively. I hope the Pirates continue to move Hayes forward to Hi A as our 3B of the future, and Craig will probably go to the Power as a 1B this year.

        • I agree, it is there philosophy. I don’t like it personally. Just look at Bell. If he would’ve been moved earlier he would’ve been further along defensively & a much better prepared to be a major contributor all away around this year.

          • There is a difference with Bell and Craig moving to first base in that it’s easier for a 3B to move to 1B than an outfielder because they are already used to the speed of the infield. Craig also played 1B during the Fall Instructional League and during his sophomore year in college, so the position won’t be new to him if/when he moves there full-time

            • Excellent points all the way around. My only fear with the Pirates is that they are historically tentative about pushing kids ahead if they think they are too young. Hayes won’t turn 20 until next week, but he has shown ability beyond his years – a real natural at 3B. Nobody in our system even close.

              • I wouldn’t use Pedro Alvarez as my prime example of an infielder moving to first base. He wasn’t exactly a good third baseman before the move and wasn’t putting in the effort you would like to see. Alvarez was still putting his wrong foot on the bag while stretching for throws when the season started. That is covered on day one in first base 101. Craig also has first base experience

        • Craig’s body is somewhat puzzling, he needs to get in shape, and I’m a person who dislike saying that about another person, but dude you are an athlete with a chance to make an amazing living doing something that I assume you love, put in the time!

          • Of all sports, baseball is the one where you don’t have to look like a physically fit top notch athlete to be successful so long as you either throw or hit the ball really hard. Of more concern to me is for Craig to prove and continue to develop power hitting with wooden bats.

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