The Pittsburgh Pirates are probably going to be fighting to avoid last place in the NL Central division once again in 2023.
They have a few interesting pieces on offense and pitching, though, to help them dream of a better outcome.
They also have a defensive stalwart that is competing to be MLB’s best fielder at his position.
It’s third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes.
The son of former major leaguer Charlie Hayes, the young Ke’Bryan was actually extended last season and is a big part of the Pirates future.
His bat still hasn’t developed as hoped: he has a lifetime .261 batting average and precious few home runs.
His glove, however, is among MLB’s best.
“Most defensive runs saved among all MLB players: …since 2020: Ke’Bryan Hayes (44) …since 2021: Ke’Bryan Hayes (40) …since 2022: Ke’Bryan Hayes (24) Hayes entered the league in 2020,” MLB analyst Danny Vietti tweeted.
Most defensive runs saved among all MLB players:
…since 2020: Ke’Bryan Hayes (44)
…since 2021: Ke’Bryan Hayes (40)
…since 2022: Ke’Bryan Hayes (24)
Hayes entered the league in 2020. pic.twitter.com/Boo3FvmdBk
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) January 17, 2023
DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) is one of the go-to defensive metrics at the moment.
It tells a pretty accurate story about what a fielder does well and how much impact he has with his defensive play.
Nobody in MLB has as many DRS as Hayes since he became a major leaguer.
Many analysts consider that he deserved to win the NL Gold Glove at third base this season.
The problem for him is that there is some guy named Nolan Arenado there.
Hayes’ moment will eventually come.
For now, he will need to work on his hitting to really become a franchise cornerstone.
His defense is flawless, and more fans should take the time to find some highlights of this man.