Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes came into the 2024 season looking to build on his previous season where he hit .271 and a career-high 15 home runs.


It looked as though Hayes was going to take that next step as a hitter after watching his performance last year.


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But this season it seems as if Hayes is at a standstill and hasn’t quite yet found his groove.


Through 33 games this season, he’s hitting .248 with one home run and 11 RBI. One thing to note is that during this time last season, Hayes also had only had one home run. So we can assume, and the Pirates can hope he is just a slow starter. 


Hayes has been known for his exceptional skill set at third base. 


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The 27-year-old is one of the best defenders in the league and already has a Gold Glove Award to show for.


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One area that Hayes wants to continue to improve on is his performance at the plate. The consistency is something that he wants to add to his game on the offensive side. Hayes started the season real strong at the plate, hitting .325 through his first 10 games. His team’s success reflected his elevated batting as they were in first place for a minute early in the season. 



He had a five-game hitting streak and had multi-hit games in the first four games of the seasons. During the month of April, he hit .239 and so far, he’s hitting under .120 during May.


One area Hayes believes he can improve on at the plate is his aggressiveness, and he also alluded to that after one of the team’s performances recently.


“There’s times where we could have been more aggressive,” he said. “But we’re a team, we work the counts pretty well. Just sometimes, we got to be able to figure out when we’re doing that, you got to figure out how to manufacture some runs. So I mean, it’s still early, it’s still April. But with a guy like that, you got to figure out whenever he’s walking guys, making him throw a lot of pitches, got to figure out how to get him out of there.”


It is still very early in the season like Hayes said, which means there will be time for adjustments to be made and for Hayes, hopefully it happens sooner rather than later.


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Hayes also dealt with a minor injury back in April too, so that may have played a factor in his performance at the plate. He was scratched from the lineup on April 16, hours before the game due to lower back tightness. Even though it wasn’t something major, all precautions need to be taken and the Pirates certainly don’t want to have Hayes miss significant time.


“It just kinda locked up on him a little bit,” manager Derek Shelton said. “We tried to work on him and we couldn’t really get it to release. Just out of the abundance of caution, we’re just gonna make sure to keep him down.”


Hayes will look to turn things around at the plate and also look to be more aggressive in the batter’s box as well.


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As the season progresses, we’ll see if Hayes can put up similar numbers to last season. Or even better. 

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