Pirates manager Derek Shelton confirmed Monday that Hayes would open the season as the team's everyday third baseman, Kevin Gorman of TribLive.com reports.

Hayes was one of the few silver linings in a dreadful season for the Pirates in 2020, batting .376 with 14 extra-base hits over his first 92 plate appearances in the majors. The 24-year-old had already been touted as a Gold Glove-caliber defender while coming up through the Pirates' farm system, but the stellar showing at the plate was more unexpected. Considering his average was propped up by a .450 BABIP, a fair dip in that department should be expected over the course of a full season in 2021. Even so, Hayes should still provide value on volume of plate appearances alone, as he'll likely be locked into a premium spot in the batting order throughout the 2021 campaign, given the Pirates' lack of appealing alternatives.

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