After an impressive September, Pirates Ke’Bryan Hayes looks to impress

Rookie Ke’Bryan Hayes looks to solidify himself as the face of the Pirates

If you don’t know who Ke’Bryan Hayes is by now, it’s time to get familiar with him. There has been buzz all around the Pirates top prospect who dazzled after his September call up last year. The rookie third baseman tore the cover off the baseball with a slash line of .376/.442/.682 with five home runs in his first 95 plate appearances. 

The 24-year-old will take the field on Opening Day at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. Hayes is one of the many building blocks for the Pirates. In what feels like an on-going agonizing process for all Pirates fans there is some optimism in Pittsburgh. 

Face of the Franchise

Hayes will be the focal point for the Pirates and how their roster will be built. The rookie phenom third baseman is a legitimate candidate for National League Rookie of the Year and possibly a Gold Glove. The last Bucs player to win the National League ROY was Jason Bay back in 2004. 

This afternoon when Hayes takes the field this will be only his 25th career big league game. MLB Pipeline has Hayes ranked as the games ninth-best prospect. He is the new face of the Pirates franchise and while that may seem like pressure for most, Hayes is excited for the opportunity. 

“It’s pretty cool that people view me like that already after playing such a small amount of games, but I’m just trying to take it day-by-day,” Hayes said to DK Pittsburgh Sports. 

“I’ve still got a lot to prove,” said Hayes. 

Extension for Hayes?

The Pirates will hold control over Hayes through 2026 and will see free agency when he’s 29. The Pirates general manager Ben Cherington has already had conversations about locking up Hayes to an extension. Talks between the two sides haven’t materialized into anything as of this point.

The Pirates are excited to see what Hayes will bring this season for his first full year. “It’s a special day. Opening Day should be a national holiday, as far as I’m concerned,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “It’s different for guys that came up. I think in Key’s case, it’s even more unique because last year he wasn’t in a Triple-A season. He came from an alt site where he was playing two or three innings at a time and then had to immerse himself in a situation where he was playing nine innings.”

Pirates fans have a reason to be excited for the first time in a long time. Hayes is exciting because he is the overall package and Pittsburgh can build around. The Pirates will kick off Opening Day against the Cubs and the legend of Hayes will begin.

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– Chris Henrique (@ChrisHenrique on Twitter)

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