Ke'Bryan Hayes
23-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
Pittsburgh Pirates AAA
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Hayes is a 70-grade defender at third base, has a career 16.8 K% and is an above-average runner who turned 23 this offseason after spending all of 2019 at Triple-A, so there are a lot of positives in his profile. His inability thus far to really impact the baseball is the elephant in the room. He uses the whole field, but his 46.4 GB% would have ranked in the bottom 25% among qualified big leaguers and his 25.5 Hard% is underwhelming for a corner infielder playing with the juiced ball at Triple-A. A modest swing change could unlock another level, and with a new front office in Pittsburgh, it is reasonable to anticipate some player-development improvements. His defense and plate skills will get him an everyday role even if he doesn't unlock more pop, and he could probably go 15/15 as is. If he gets off to a good start, we should see him in the first half. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a $1.86 million contract with the Pirates in June of 2015.
Sent to alternate camp
3BPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
July 22, 2020
Hayes was sent to the Pirates' alternate training camp in Altoona on Wednesday, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Hayes wasn't able to join his teammates until Monday after previously testing positive for COVID-19, so it makes sense that he won't be ready for game action just yet. He wasn't necessarily ever all that likely to be on the Pirates' Opening Day roster, as he's yet to make his major-league debut. However, he played a full season for Triple-A Indianapolis last year and hit a sold .265/.336/.415, so he should be called upon at some point this year.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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.
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
Making recovery progress
3BPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
July 21, 2020
Hayes (illness) was healthy enough to practice at PNC Park on Monday while his teammates traveled to Cleveland for an exhibition game against the Indians, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports.
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Cleared to return
3BPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
July 20, 2020
Hayes (illness) cleared MLB protocol Monday and will rejoin the team soon, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
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Tests positive for COVID-19
3BPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
July 19, 2020
Manager Derek Shelton said Sunday that Hayes has tested positive for COVID-19, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
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Absence unexplained
3BPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
July 9, 2020
Manager Derek Shelton gave no reason for Hayes' absence from summer camp, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports.
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Absent from camp
3BPittsburgh Pirates  AAA
July 9, 2020
Hayes has not yet participated in preseason camp, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
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