Today, that agreement was made official: it’s signed, and Hayes is now a big part of the Pirates’ future.
He started to cement his place in 2020, to be fair, when he made his MLB debut with a loud .376/.442/.682 line and five homers in 95 plate appearances.
Last year was a struggle, though: he slashed .257/.316/.373 with only six round-trippers in 396 plate appearances.
The Pirates, however, are trusting in him and gave him a big extension.
It’s a rare move by a franchise known more for selling assets than locking them up.
The 25-year-old Hayes remains full of offensive upside, and is already a very good defensive third baseman.
Is “Young Hayes” Really “Here To Stay”?
“Young Hayes is here to stay,” The Pirates’ Twitter account published on Tuesday.
Young Hayes is here to stay. pic.twitter.com/gJjUSNflvv
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 12, 2022
Only time will tell if they surround this move with other win-now decisions.
For now, Hayes seems enamored with the franchise and the project they have.
He said that they have “a lot of young talent. I feel like we are building something special.”
The Pirates do have a number of interesting prospects: Oneil Cruz is a beast at shortstop, Diego Castillo turned heads during spring training, and Mitch Keller, Roansy Contreras, and Miguel Yajure are promising pitchers.
All of them will be led by the team’s best player, outfielder Bryan Reynolds.
For Pittsburgh, finding prospects won’t be much of an issue: retaining them when they develop is the real concern.