Ke’Bryan Hayes and Anthony Alford have both earned the opportunity to be major parts in the Pittsburgh Pirates rebuild.
THAT'S IT. THAT'S THE TWEET. pic.twitter.com/Bh3Mrir1i4
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) June 27, 2021
Coming into the season expectations were not exactly high in the Steel City for the Pirates to be anything close to contenders, but they do have one of the top minor league systems in baseball and fans wanted to see some of them make a positive impact in the Bigs and Ke’Bryan Hayes and Anthony Alford have done just that.
Ke’Bryan Hayes Will Amaze
Baseball was robbed of a full season from Ke’Bryan Hayes after a wrist injury two games into his season landed him on the 60-Day Injured List.
KE’BRYAN HAYES WITH A PISS MISSILE AND IT’S A BLOOD BATH IN PITTSBURGH pic.twitter.com/Bly05qP7Uy
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) July 6, 2021
He returned to the Pirate lineup on June 3 and has been the best defensive third baseman in the league since — the numbers do not lie.
Hayes leads all Major League third basemen with a 1.9 Defensive WAR rating and has only committed three errors in 89 games.
Even though some of those numbers may be skewed because he has played in fewer games than most full-time National League third baseman, his resume and highlight reel speak for itself, and he deserves major consideration for a Gold Glove.
1st career walk-off hit!
Ke'Bryan Hayes lifts the Pirates to victory. pic.twitter.com/TxuWn42omh
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 11, 2021
On the offensive side of the ball Hayes is ending the season strong. Entering Tuesday Hayes was batting .298 for the month of September with 20 hits including his first career walk-off, three doubles, four RBI and 10 runs scored.
Hayes has five home runs on the season, even though he’s hit six out of the park.
Something you don't see every day!
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) June 8, 2021
On one occasion earlier this year after hitting one out against the Dodgers he failed to step on first while rounding the bases and was called out.
Anthony Alford’s Time Is Now
This is the first time in Anthony Alford’s career that he is getting a chance at extended playing time, and he’s making the most of it.
Anthony Alford gave this ball a chance…
To land in Lake Ontario 😳 pic.twitter.com/Xy3SF0XvAz
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 9, 2019
During his first two seasons with the Blue Jays he was ranked as a Top 20 prospect in the organization, but Alford played in a total of 33 games and only had one home run.
Fast forward to this season, and there have been many instances where he’s been the best player in their lineup, especially this month.
ANTHONY ALFORD CAN'T BE STOPPED. pic.twitter.com/Qr20Hd7mTe
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) September 3, 2021
Alford has five home runs this season and four have come this month including two in one game against the Chicago Cubs.
He adds a .298 batting average, seven RBI and seven runs to his September statline.
It will be interesting to see what are the plans for the Pirates this off-season, but I’m certain they have two future stars to hold it down on the left side of the diamond.