This is the fourth in my 2015 MLB Draft profile series. The subject of this profile is third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, the son of a former major leaguer and an intriguing prospect.
6’1, 207 pounds
DOB: Jan. 28, 1998
Days younger than Julio Urias: 534
Concordia Lutheran High School
Commitment: University of Tennessee
Slot recommended bonus (No. 24): $2,094,400
Slot recommended bonus (No. 35): $1,756,100
Editor’s note: All information of draft prospects compiled from internet sources, scouting reports and video.
The first bloodline profile is in the form of Hayes. He’s the son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes, and projects to play the same position as his father (and probably be a better pro). He has one of the better hit tools of all the prep players in the class. He also projects to have average-to-above-average power.
Hayes begins his approach quietly with a shoulder-width base and slightly open stance. He holds his hands at about shoulder level and is relatively quiet. He doesn’t have a ton of wasted energy in his swing. He then does something that is reminiscent of a vintage ballplayer. His bat is slightly tilted back before he starts his swing (look at the videos to get a better idea of what I’m talking about). His hands move back without compromising the bat position He brings his bat through the zone with solid-average bat speed and a level plane. He has a normal stride and makes a ton of loud contact. He clears his hips and generates plenty of bat speed and power in his bat, but he might ultimately be a better pure hitter than power hitter. Even at third base, that should play.
Defensively, Hayes has been recognized as having one of the better gloves in the class. He has good range for the hot corner, soft hands and a plus-arm — all the things Corey Seager should be when he moves to third base. He throws the ball from an over-the-top angle that plays much better at third base than it would at shortstop (where he played in high school a lot). On the base paths, he isn’t terribly fast (40-45 runner) and won’t get any faster as he turns pro.
He’s already physically mature at 6’1, 207 pounds. He doesn’t have much projection left in that regard (what you see is what you get). One thing that is underrated when evaluating Hayes is his age. He turned 17 in January, so he’s one of (if not the) youngest players in the class. Being where he is at a young age-17 (if there is such a thing) is an advantage. Hayes’ ceiling isn’t the highest, but his floor is relatively high (which is weird since he’s so young). His father played 14 years in the majors and was pretty much below-average (12.2 WAR, more of a role player forced into more of a full-time role at times, maybe have benefited from advanced fielding metrics). If Ke’Bryan could be that, you’d consider that a win as a draft pick.
True Blue LA reported the Dodgers may have a handshake deal with Hayes to take him at No. 24 or No. 35. If this is the case, the deal would likely be for less than slot so the Dodgers could take a guy with more signability risk at either pick. This would include players like Brady Aiken (ugh), Michael Matuella, Kolby Allard or Justin Hooper (reported $4 million price tag, would probably pass anyway). It all depends who’s available come 24 and 35. If the Dodgers landed Hayes and, let’s just say Matuella, I’d say that’s a pretty good first round.