Hayes attended Concordia Lutheran High School. He committed to play college baseball at the University of Tennessee. In 2015, as a high school senior, Hayes hit .436 with three home runs, 27 runs batted in (RBI), and 12 stolen bases.
He made his MLB debut in 2020. The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Hayes in the first round, with the 32nd overall selection, of the 2015 MLB draft. Foregoing his college offer, Hayes signed with Pittsburgh, and spent 2015 with both the Gulf Coast League Pirates and the West Virginia Black Bears, batting a combined .308, with 20 RBI, in 56 games.
Ke’Bryan Hayes remembers his father’s instructions as a child, the ones that helped pave the way for the Pittsburgh Pirates prospect to follow in his dad Charlie’s footsteps.
The elder Hayes, who carved out a 14-year career in the majors as a corner infielder and memorably recorded the final out of the 1996 World Series while playing third base for the New York Yankees, threw a lot at his son. He stressed over and over the importance of defense and forced his son to learn every position, even if it meant occasionally playing in right field even though he would have been more effective elsewhere.