MLBbro Ke’Bryan Hayes Is A National League Gold Glove Finalist At Third Base | Flashing Leather Is What He Does

MLBbro Ke’Bryan Hayes Is A National League Gold Glove Finalist At Third Base | Flashing Leather Is What He Does

By Ethan Sands 

The MLB Gold Glove nominations were announced on Thursday.

Ke’Bryan Hayes would become the first Pirates third baseman to receive a Gold Glove if his name is called on Nov. 1 during ESPN’s Baseball Tonight before the start of Game 4 of the World Series.

In just his third professional season, the Pirates’ third baseman joins nine-time Gold Glove winner Nolan Arenado and Colorado’s Ryan McMahon as the final candidates for the best third baseman in the NL.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, The Hot Corner Heavy Hitter

If instead Arenado wins his 10th Gold Glove, he’d tie Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt for the second-highest total at the hot corner, behind only Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson’s 16.

The 25-year-old Hayes led all players in Defensive Runs Saved (24) and all third basemen in Outs Above Average (18). Arenado was second in OAA (15).

This wouldn’t be the first Gold Glove of Hayes’ professional career, as he won three in the Minors since being drafted with the 32nd overall pick in 2015. But in his first full season with Pittsburgh in 2021, he didn’t meet the Rawlings qualification of playing in 713 innings by the Pirates’ 142nd game. His season was shortened due to being placed on the 60-day injured list on May 9, 2021, after also being put on the 10-day injured list on April 4.

MLBbro Ke’Bryan Hayes Gets The Biggest Bag In Pittsburgh Pirates History | The Franchise Cornerstone Has Security

He wouldn’t let that be the case in 2022.

“He expects to play every single day,” director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk told MLB.com. “I know Ke’ had a goal coming in that he wanted to play every single day. That’s not even counting practice workload. He gets after it most days, and that’s the balance.”

Hayes played in 133 games and 1,102 2/3 innings at third base, making just 12 errors over 428 total chances for a .972 fielding percentage. But he played through back pain for the majority of the season. He was placed on the 10-day injured list on Aug. 16 (retroactive to Aug. 13) with a mid-muscle back strain, but his determination and goal to reach the qualifications kept him off the injured list for the rest of the season.

“For the most part, I’ve just been trying to find ways to really just get on the field, stay on the field,” Hayes said.

Hayes made his presence felt whenever he was on the field, leading Pittsburgh in both bWAR (4.2) and fWAR (3.0) while also being the first Pirate since Starling Marte in 2019 to record 20 stolen bases in a season.

Ke’Bryan Hayes Was On Fire Against The Cincinnati Reds | The Web Wizard Was Bro Bombing

His first Major League Gold Glove would be the cherry on top of a sensational season that saw Hayes become the highest-paid player in Pirates franchise history. He inked an eight-year deal worth a guaranteed $70 million with a club option for a ninth on April 12.

Ke’Bryan Hayes Was On Fire Against The Cincinnati Reds | The Web Wizard Was Bro Bombing

Ke’Bryan Hayes Was On Fire Against The Cincinnati Reds | The Web Wizard Was Bro Bombing

Pittsburgh Pirates star Ke’Bryan Hayes had an impressive series against the Cincinnati Reds. Pittsburgh had no problem taking care of the Reds in the three games, winning each game by three or more runs. And Hayes played a big part in helping the Pirates defeat the Reds. He went 7-for-14 at the plate with a home run and two RBI. This was the first time this season that he had a multi-hit performance in each game of the series.

 

 

Hayes was a problem at the plate and the Reds had no answer for him. In the first two games of the series, he finished with two hits and in the series finale he had a three-hit performance. It’s not everyday you see a player catch fire like that in a series. But that’s a taste of how talented Hayes is and how much of an impact he makes on the field.

After the Cincinnati series, Hayes was hitting .250 with seven home runs and 38 RBI on the season. A lot of eyes have been on Hayes, especially after he secured the bag at the beginning of the season.

 

MLBbro Ke’Bryan Hayes Gets The Biggest Bag In Pittsburgh Pirates History | The Franchise Cornerstone Has Security

 

But for the most part, Hayes has had a solid year in Pittsburgh. As the franchise surrounds him with more talent, we will see his game explode. He recently spent some time on the injured list. His health has been a problem during his first couple of years in the league as well. The Pirates placed him on the IL back on August 13th due to a mid-back muscle strain. Hayes missed a little over a week and returned to the lineup back on August 23rd.

“Any time you’re over there on the [injured list] and you’re watching your team go to battle each and every night, you want to be out there to try to help do your part to help get wins,” Hayes said in an article from mlb.com when he returned to the lineup. “So [I’m] just looking forward to being back and not trying to do too much, just try to be me, and hopefully I can help us get some wins.”

So far, Hayes is having a strong September, hitting over .300, and he’ll look to stay in his zone and finish the season strong and with optimism for a better 2023 for himself and his young team. The future is bright in Pittsburgh, especially with Hayes leading the way. He’s a bro that will continue to increase his stock throughout his career.

MLBbro Ke’Bryan Hayes Is A National League Gold Glove Finalist At Third Base | Flashing Leather Is What He Does

Ke’Bryan Hayes Is Looking Gold Glove Special At the Hot Corner For The Bucs

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.

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.

 

Ke’Bryan Hayes Is The Future Of The Pittsburgh Pirates Franchise

 

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.”

 

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.

MLBbro Superstar Alert!! Ke’Bryan Hayes Keeps The Lights On In The Pit

MLBbro Superstar Alert!! Ke’Bryan Hayes Keeps The Lights On In The Pit

Ke’Bryan Hayes is this generation’s next great third baseman and is earning the title of highest-paid player in Pittsburgh Pirates’ franchise history with his play through the first month and a half of the season.  

 

MLBbro Ke’Bryan Hayes Gets The Biggest Bag In Pittsburgh Pirates History | The Franchise Cornerstone Has Security

 

The hitting numbers Hayes is posting has positioned him to be the representative for Pittsburgh at this season’s All-Star Game, which would be quite an accomplishment in just his second Major League season. The son of MLBbro player Charlie Hayes would join Josh Bell and Andrew McCutchen as recent Black Pirates to obtain the honor.

 

 

Entering Sunday’s game, Hayes ranks in the top five for the National League in batting average, on base percentage and Offensive WAR. This coming after Hayes’ 2021 season was filled with injuries from the first game of the year till his last. After the second game of the season, Hayes felt a pain in his left wrist that made it difficult to grip the bat, leading to him being placed on the 60-day Injured List.

He returned to the Pirates’ lineup at the beginning of June but near the end of the season, injury struck again, leading to him being shut down in late September.

 

Don’t Even Watch Pirates Games For The Next 10 Days…Ke’Bryan Hayes Is Hurt

 

“I had to grind through it,” Hayes told reporters at the beginning of this year’s spring training. “Going into the offseason, I really wanted to forget about it and make sure that going into this next season my body is healthy for this spring training.  I’m doing good, the wrist is feeling good, so I’m ready to get rolling.”

Hayes’ bank account was one thing injuries couldn’t keep down. Not even a week into the season Pittsburgh made the 25-year-old out of Tomball, Texas the highest-paid player in their franchise history with an eight-year $70 million deal with a club option for 2030.

If Hayes can stay healthy, the deal will prove to be a bargain for the Pirates.

He did scare fans during the team’s Opening Day game this season when the third baseman appeared to re-injure that same wrist that plagued him last year in the first inning and was forced out of the game. But it was just a scare, and he didn’t miss any time from it.

Glove Love 

The one phase of Hayes’ game that may be the least surprising this season has been his play on defense.  

 

 

The three-time Minor League Gold Glove award winner currently leads all Major League third baseman in Defensive WAR and putouts by a comfortable margin.

Bat Attack 

At the plate Hayes is batting .309 with an on base percentage above .400 and a .799 OPS to go along with eight RBI and three stolen bases.

 

 

He already has seven games this season with at least two hits, a 4-for-4 game and had two consecutive 3-for-5 games, one against the Cincinnati Reds and the other coming against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pirates Playoff Push? 

Hayes has his Pirates’ record closer to the .500 mark than most thought they would be.  They are a young team with players who will continue to flow to the Bigs over the next few years, but it looks like Pittsburgh has already found they can put the franchise on Hayes’ back as they work towards getting back into the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

MLBbro Ke’Bryan Hayes Gets The Biggest Bag In Pittsburgh Pirates History | The Franchise Cornerstone Has Security

MLBbro Ke’Bryan Hayes Gets The Biggest Bag In Pittsburgh Pirates History | The Franchise Cornerstone Has Security

Ke’Bryan Hayes is expected to return to action on Saturday.

And when the Pittsburgh Pirates’ star third baseman does return from his left foreman spasm that knocked him out of the opener, Hayes will have a big bag with him.

The MLBbro reportedly has reached an agreement for a long-term contract extension that’ll be the richest in the organizations’ history, according to Robert Murray of Fansided.  The contract extension is for eight years and will pay Hayes’ $70 million with the Pirates having the club option for Hayes’ ninth-year. Hayes can remain with the Pirates through the 2030 season.

Hayes spoke to the media about Opening Day and what the contract meant to him, “I’m just thankful for this opportunity, for them believing in me for a long-term deal,” said Hayes before the Pirates took on the St. Louis Cardinals. “I’m very committed, as I’m sure they’re committed for this partnership. I’m excited to get back to work this year….It shows how much they believe in me. With the little time that I have in the big leagues, it’s a huge confidence boost, showing they want me to be a guy who’s here for a long time and helps lead the way. It’s very humbling.”

This new deal surpasses the Pirates’ previous largest deal ever with Jason Kendall’s six-year, $60-million guaranteed deal contract back in 2000.

Hayes, 25, struck out in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Cards and then sustained an injury in the bottom of the inning.

It was called a cramp or spasm around his left wrist going up into his forearm. The Pirates and Hayes are pleased to hear that it wasn’t anything too serious as he’s listed day-to-day on the injury report, and should be good to go for the second game of this series against the Cardinals on Saturday.

 

“I knew it wasn’t an injury….I knew it was a cramp,” said Hayes, son of former MLB third baseman Charlie Hayes. “I was trying my best. There were like two or three pitches I didn’t even have my glove on. I was trying my best to get that thing to loosen back up. I just didn’t have the time to do it.”

Hayes, who played in only 96 games in the MLB’s 2021 season due to a lingering left wrist injury, scored 49 runs and had 38 RBI in that time. In his 2020 campaign, Hayes was on fire in 24 games, Hayes hit .376 with a 1.124 OPS and instantly thrust himself into the National League Rookie of the Year conversation.

In the offseason, Hayes tried to change up his batting mechanics, specifically his follow-through swing to help not aggregate the same injury again. That’s why when he sustained the scare during the opening game, it made his teammates worrisome.

“We were all holding our breath a little bit,” Pirates’ shortstop Cole Tucker told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Very up-and-down day for him. We were just kind of confused. Glad to know that it sounds like it’s nothing major.”

 

The Pirates finally paid the MLBbro what he rightfully deserved and locked up Hayes for the long-term,  giving him the keys to leading the franchise going forward. He’s their future no doubt about it. The organization has had its share of Black talented players who’ve played for them, including Dave Parker, Willie Stargell, and last but least, the great Barry Bonds.

It was said that Parker was the first “Richest Man in Team Sports” as the Pirates gave him a $1 million per year contract that actually never came to fruition as the franchise pushed back payments over years as he played there after its World Series win in 1979 over the Baltimore Orioles. Stargell, the 1979 World Series MVP, played his entire career with the Pirates. But players didn’t make the kind of money they make now.

Bonds won the NL MVP Award in 1990, but was frustrated with the organization as he was one of the lowest-paid players in the majors during this time. Ultimately, he left for San Francisco.

The Pirates didn’t make the same mistake this time around with our MLBbro. Hayes deserved to get paid and will endure some tough times as the team goes through the rebuild phase.  But there’s one thing for certain, he can AFFORD mostly anything through these times.