Pirates’ Ke’Bryan Hayes is first from Texas to homer in 2021

Ke’Bryan Hayes of the Pittsburgh Pirates is the first former Texas high school baseball player to hit a home run in the new season. The 24-year-old Hayes homered in the top of the first inning Thursday at Wrigley Field. His blow off Kyle Hendricks gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead.

Hayes was a first-round draft pick in 2015 by the Pirates out of Concordia Lutheran High School in Tomball. He hit .376 in 24 games for the Pirates last year, his first in the big leagues.

Hayes is the son of Charlie Hayes, who played 14 seasons in the majors. Charlie Hayes played for the Giants, the Phillies, the Yankees, the Rockies, the Pirates, the Brewers and the Astros. His career spanned from 1988 through 2001.

Not the only young star

Hayes isn’t the only 25-and-under player from Texas to keep an eye on this season. How about Dodgers pitcher Dustin May (23), Padres outfielder Trent Grisham (24) and Blue Jays utility man Cavan Biggio (25)?

May is from Northwest High School in Justin, in the DFW MetroPlex. Also a MetroPlex-area talent, Grisham hails from Burleson and played at North Richland Hills. Biggio, the son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, played at Houston St. Thomas.

Alamo City connections

San Antonio native Brooks Raley, who played in high school at Uvalde, is on the opening-day roster for the Houston Astros. Last season, Raley pitched in 17 games in the regular season and six in the playoffs for Astros manager Dusty Baker.

Another San Antonio native, Burch Smith, made the Oakland A’s as a reliever. Smith was born in San Antonio and grew up in Tyler, where he attended Tyler Lee. Both Grisham and Smith played for the San Antonio Missions in 2019 as members of the Brewers’ organization.