Reds vs. Pirates: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 07: Tyler Naquin #12 of the Cincinnati Reds crosses home plate. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 07: Tyler Naquin #12 of the Cincinnati Reds crosses home plate. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Ke'Bryan Hayes #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates up to bat.
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – AUGUST 02: Ke’Bryan Hayes #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates up to bat. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Rookie third baseman, Ke’Bryan Hayes, has a bright future.

If there’s one thing for Pirates fans to be excited about, it has to be rookie Ke’Bryan Hayes. The son of longtime former major leaguer Charlie Hayes, he could become the best homegrown Pittsburgh player since a young Andrew McCutchen was terrorizing NL Central pitching staffs.

Just 24-years-old, Hayes has been limited to 54 games in his first full season as he missed nearly two months with a left wrist injury. However, he has shown glimpses of what is likely to come when he’s in the Pittsburgh lineup.

A one-time favorite for NL Rookie of the Year honors, Hayes has struggled over his past 30 games producing a .209/.267/.309 slash line.  Overall he’s slashing .242/314/.374 with four homers and 21 RBIs. He may not be Jonathan India, but there’s still plenty to like about this rookie’s game despite the recent slump.

Let’s not forget about the Pirates’ other young stud. Outfielder Bryan Reynolds is having a sensational 2021 campaign. The switch-hitting All-Star is slashing an impressive .308/.391/.523 with a team-leading 18 bombs and 61 ribbies.

Reynolds is a perfect example of when the Pittsburgh front office got it right. Acquired from the San Francisco Giants in a January 2018 trade that sent the aforementioned McCutchen to the Bay Area is surely a deal the Giants would love to take back.

While the present may be bleak, there’s reason for hope with Hayes and Reynolds as the club’s cornerstones to build upon. For a franchise mired in the basement of the NL Central, hope is all Bucs fans have.