Hayes snags honor from Pirates

No. 2 prospect named Minor League Player of the Year

Ke'Bryan Hayes ranked fourth in the Eastern League with 31 doubles and 10th with a .293 batting average. (Terrance Williams/MiLB.com)

By Daren Smith / MiLB.com | September 21, 2018 6:05 PM

The honors continue to pile up for Ke'Bryan Hayes.

Less than a month after he was tabbed an Eastern League postseason All-Star, MLB.com's No. 52 overall prospect was named the Pirates' Minor League Player of the Year. Right-hander J.T. Brubaker received Pitcher of the Year honors.

Hayes spent the entire season with Double-A Altoona, where he batted .293/.375/.444 with seven homers, seven triples, 31 doubles and 12 stolen bases in 117 games. He committed only six errors at third base and led all Minor Leaguers at the position with a .978 fielding percentage.

"Ke'Bryan continued his impressive defensive skills at third base in 2018, proving that his 2017 Rawlings Gold Glove award was no fluke," said Pirates senior director of Minor League operations Larry Broadway. "Equally as impressive as his glove work was the offensive improvements he made this year, setting career highs in games, home runs, doubles, triples, hits and walks. Ke'Bryan truly deserves this award and we are very proud of the work that he has put in to get him to where he is at today."

Video: Curve's Hayes wallops two-run dinger

Hayes, the son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes, played in the All-Star Futures Game in Washington and hit a two-run homer in Team USA's 10-6 victory. He's ranked second among Pirates prospects by MLB Pipeline.

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Brubaker split the season between Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, going 10-6 with a 2.81 ERA and 131 strikeouts over 154 innings in 28 starts. He led all Pirates Minor Leaguers in ERA and ranked second in strikeouts, four behind top prospect Mitch Keller. 

"J.T. had a tremendous season, improving in virtually every category while logging more innings and pitching against the highest level of Minor League competition," Broadway said. "He consistently put his team in a position to win every time he took the mound and his level of improvement from 2017 to 2018 was remarkable."

The 24-year-old started the year in the Eastern League and was promoted after posting a 2-2 record and 1.80 ERA in six starts. In the International League, he was 8-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 22 starts.

Daren Smith is an editor for MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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