TOMBALL — One of the best fielding third baseman in the world is an up-and-coming prospect from Tomball.
Pittsburgh Pirates minor leaguer Ke’Bryan Hayes won the 2018 Rawlings Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence. He won the same award in 2017, as well. "I think its pretty cool," he said. "Not too many people can say they've won a gold glove, but I've been able to do it two years in a row.
"Some people like to say that hate striking out," he added. "I hate making an error. I think that's the most embarrassing thing for me in baseball."
Hayes is the son of former major leaguer Charlie Hayes, who spent 14 seasons in the bigs. "I just try to stay out of the way," said Charlie, who owns and operates Big League Baseball Academy in Tomball. "I want him to learn on his own."
Hayes, playing for the Pirates’ Double-A club in Altoona, Pennsylvania, led all minor league third basemen in 2018 with a .978 fielding percentage, an Altoona club record and the highest by a third baseman in the Eastern League dating back to at least 1959, which is the earliest year the statistic is available, according to Altoona Curve website. "I always tell myself I'm close, but I'm not close," said Hayes, who will likely start 2019 at Triple-A Indianapolis.
When he’s not working at his dad’s facility, Ke’Bryan works on his strength and conditioning at Dynamic Sports Training in Tomball.
"He's not even close to where he's going to be," said Kevin Poppe, DST's Director of Operations.