Hayes went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a homer against Charlotte on Thursday.
The home run was his first at the Triple-A level. Hayes spent all of 2018 playing for Double-A Altoona, where he slashed .293/.375/.444 but with only seven homers in 437 at-bats. He followed that up by hitting .353 with three home runs in Grapefruit League action this spring. The third baseman has a solid skill set, but his fantasy value may be determined by his ability to hit for power. So far he's off to a good start in 2019.
The 22-year-old impressed onlookers this spring, hitting .346 with seven extra-base hits (including two homers) in 26 Grapefruit League at-bats. Hayes slashed .293/.375/.444 with seven homers and 47 RBI in 437 at-bats for Double-A Altoona in 2018. He's expected to serve as the everyday third baseman for Triple-A Indianapolis and could make his MLB debut later this summer. Fantasy owners will want to key in on his ability to hit for power, as he's totaled only 15 home runs in four minor-league campaigns.
Hayes went 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs Sunday, including a walk-off grand slam against the Marlins.
While he's not expected to debut for the Pirates until late in 2019 or 2020, Hayes gave Pittsburgh a glimpse of the possibilities to come. He's listed behind Jung Ho Kang and Colin Moran on the depth chart, but his glove is already major-league ready. Hayes' ability to hit for power is about the only aspect of his game still in question. The 22-year-old slashed .293/.375/.444 with seven homers in 437 at-bats for Double-A Altoona in 2018. He did collect 31 doubles (along with 12 stolen bases), providing hope that the power will eventually show up.
The top position prospect in the organization, Hayes slashed .293/.375/.444 with seven home runs and 12 steals across 508 plate appearances at Double-A Altoona last season while providing elite defense at the hot corner. While the invitation to big-league camp is a deserved reward for Hayes, he'll likely be ticketed for Triple-A Indianapolis to begin the campaign and is expected to spend most of 2019 in the minors.
Hayes has gone 4-for-18 (all singles) with two walks, five strikeouts and a stolen base in five games with Double-A Altoona since returning from a shoulder injury.
The 21-year-old suffered a left shoulder contusion Aug. 19 and missed several days as a result, but by all accounts he's healthy now. Hayes will look to finish strong in Altoona's final six games after slashing .278/.360/.429 with seven homers and 10 steals in his first 112 games with the affiliate. The Pirates figure to promote Hayes to Triple-A Indianapolis early on in 2019 and it seems likely -- considering Hayes' path to date -- that they will keep him there for the majority of the season.
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