Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes has had an impressive season and is establishing himself as an elite player. The 25-year-old is already a top player on his team, and he’s shown that he can make an impact at the plate and in the field.
What’s Poppin’ takes it to Pittsburgh to feature an electrifying bro.
KeBryan Hayes went off yesterday, going 3 for 5 against the Dodgers and adding one of five runs in a solid Pirates win.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 10, 2022
This brother can certainly flash some leather out there and he makes it look easy too. Through 82 games at third base, Hayes has a .970 fielding percentage with eight errors. Despite having eight errors, Hayes leads all infielders in one category.
According to the SABR defensive index, our MLBbro was at 7.7 when the last figures were released on June 19. That’s the highest among any player in the league.
For those who may not know, the SABR defensive index is a metric that is widely used to determine Gold and Platinum Glove winners.
They look at two different types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts.
Hayes is in the driver seat right now and has a chance to take home his first Gold Glove Award. Now there is a lot of season left, but for Hayes to be at the top of that list, speaks volumes to the type of player he is on the field.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton knows that Hayes is a special talent at third base.
“There are sometimes situations where guys are gonna get errors because they’re really good,” he said in an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That sounds screwed up, but it’s because you get to more balls, whereas guys who don’t move as well might not make as many errors just because they don’t have as many chances.
“The other thing we see with Key is he makes a lot of really, really tough plays look easy, stuff you take for granted.”
For Hayes, he just wants to go out there and make the plays that he can and put his team in positions to win games.
“It’s kind of like batting average,” he said. “You can’t look at that every week. It’ll beat you up if you do. Just try to go out there and play to the best of my abilities. At the end of the year, that’s when I look at that stuff.”
Ke'Bryan Hayes. Good defense. Send tweet.
Seiya Suzuki had a sprint speed of 29.3 ft/s (30.0 ft/s is elite). Wasn't an easy play here at all. pic.twitter.com/dZubSUjCYa
— Justice delos Santos (@justdelossantos) April 22, 2022
With technology becoming so advanced, there are many ways to track different metrics in all of sports, allowing people to break down players even more.
“I think that’s why the advanced metrics are so important because we can see that he makes a lot of plays other people don’t make,” Shelton said. “A couple of his errors have been on balls that just took bad hops. He got caught in between. I think that’s why being able to gauge defense moving forward is so important.”
It will be interesting to see how things play out with Hayes and if he will still be in the running to win a Gold Glove once September is through. With how he’s been playing so far this season, the brother definitely deserves it.