Bucs’ Hayes delivers 5-for-5 performance
In less than a month since his first Major League callup, Ke'Bryan Hayes has emerged as a cornerstone of the rebuilding Pirates’ future. And while the club is on the verge of a third consecutive last-place finish in the National League Central, its second-ranked prospect showed why he could be
In less than a month since his first Major League callup,
And while the club is on the verge of a third consecutive last-place finish in the National League Central, its second-ranked prospect showed why he could be the guy to help turn things around.
Hayes went 5-for-5 and scored three times as the Pirates rolled to an 8-0 victory over the Indians on Saturday night at Progressive Field. MLB Pipeline’s No. 38 overall prospect doubled three times and singled twice to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
“To be able to get five hits at the Major League level is really special for me,” Hayes told MLB.com. “All the hard work that I’ve been putting in with my swing change and stuff of that nature, it feels really good.”
The 23-year-old joined the ranks of Roberto Clemente and Dick Groat as the 12th rookie in team history to have five hits in as many plate appearances. He's the first to do so since Neil Walker in 2010.
Hayes is 14-for-27 (.519) with six extra-base hits and seven runs scored during his torrid run.
He began Saturday night’s effort by stroking a 2-2 sinker from Aaron Civale down the right field line in the opening inning before scoring on a base hit by Colin Moran. Hayes opened the third with another two-base hit, dropping a liner into the right-center field gap just beyond the reach of a diving Delino DeShields, and was plated by Josh Bell’s single to right.
Ke’Bryan Hayes literally cannot stop getting hits. pic.twitter.com/Z0xMZ4Ellc— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) September 27, 2020
The 2015 first-rounder singled in his next two at-bats. He bashed a line drive back through the middle and scored on Moran’s three-run homer in the fourth, then rolled a leadoff single up the middle in the seventh.
Leading off again in the ninth, Hayes drove another first-pitch double to center but was left stranded.
It took Hayes only 23 games to do something his father, Charlie Hayes, couldn't do in a 14-year big league career. The elder Hayes had five four-hit performances but never reached five knocks in a game.
The third baseman made a name for himself with his defense before reaching the Majors, earning a Minor League Gold Glove each of the past three seasons. But Hayes has made plenty of noise with his bat in Pittsburgh. The Texas native is batting .370/.433/.654 with four homers, seven doubles, two triples and 10 RBIs in 81 at-bats with the Pirates.
“Whether he goes 5-for-5 or 0-for-5, he comes in with the same mentality every day. Real slow heartbeat,” Pirates starter Joe Musgrove, who hurled seven scoreless innings, told MLB.com. “It’s fun to watch. He’s a really fun player, and I’m really glad he’s on our side.”
While he did not record a five-hit game at the Minor League level, Hayes did put together seven four-hit games. His best offensive season in the Minors came with Double-A Altoona in 2018. As a 21-year-old, he hit .293/.375/.444 with seven homers, seven triples, 31 doubles and 47 RBIs.
It was the Eastern League success that hitting coach Rick Eckstein wanted Hayes to tap into in the Majors. With most of his hits going up the middle or to the opposite field, the duo found exactly what they were looking for.
Indians No. 10 prospect
In other action:
Red Sox 8, Braves 2
Tenth-ranked Red Sox prospect
Nationals 4, Mets 3 (1st game)
Third-ranked Mets prospect Andres Gimenez saw his season season come to an end after he was lifted in the middle of an at-bat with what turned out to be a right oblique strain. The No. 83 overall prospect was placed on the injured list between games of the doubleheader. A surprise addition to the Opening Day roster, Gimenez effectively wrestled the starting shortstop position from Amed Rosario and batted .263/.333/.398 with eight extra-base hits and 12 RBIs in 118 at-bats. Top Nationals prospect Luis Garcia walked and struck out twice in the opener. Box score
White Sox 9, Cubs 5
No. 37 prospect
Yankees 11, Marlins 4
Third-ranked Yankees prospect
Nationals 5, Mets 3 (2nd game)
Top Nats prospect Luis Garcia went hitless in three at-bats but reached on an error and scored in a five-run third inning. He's hitting .269/.291/.362 with two homers, six doubles and 14 RBIs in 130 at-bats. Box score
Blue Jays 5, Orioles 2
Sixth-ranked Jays prospect
Rangers 6, Astros 1
Rangers No. 3 prospect
Rockies 10, D-backs 3
Third-ranked Arizona prospect
Mariners 5, Athletics 1 (1st game)
M's No. 18 prospect
Rays 4, Phillies 3
Dodgers 7, Angels 6
Top Angels prospect
Gerard Gilberto is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter,<a href="[https://twitter.com/GerardGilberto](https://twitter.com/Gerard)" target="blank" >@Gerard__Gilberto.