Milwaukee Brewers prized second base prospect Keston Hiura has been a name thrown around in trade rumors as of late as the big league club is in first place in the NL Central. This has started a debate between Brewer fans and baseball fans in general if the Brewers should give up their #1 prospect for a star player this season.
Hiura was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers with the ninth overall pick in the 2017 MLB draft, and he has done nothing but hit since he’s been with the organization. He’s currently with the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers after recently getting called up, but if he continues to hit the way he has, he projects to fly right through the minors up to the major leagues.
In just 13 games in Biloxi, Hiura is hitting .380 with a whopping .996 OPS. He also has 19 total hits, one home run (which was a walkoff), three RBIs, and five stolen bases. He will be given his time in Biloxi before they push him up to the next level, but the early results are very promising .
The one shortage in Hiura’s game is his defense. He was drafted as a designated hitter which definitely turned some heads at the draft due to the Brewers being a NL team. However, he has been working at second base, and with a bat like that, you can live with some defensive mistakes.
The Brewers are currently experiencing the exact opposite of this situation with shortstop Orlando Arcia, and you can see how it would be more ideal to have a player with defensive problems rather than offensive. The Brewers lineup, although still very good, could definitely use more production from the shortstop spot.
Possible trade discussions
Hiura’s name has mostly come up in discussions for starting pitcher Jacob Degrom. The Brewers are a team that have a very good offense, but even way back before the season started everyone knew the Brewers needed an ace, and they still do. Jimmy Nelson will be coming back at some point this season, but you never know how he’ll handle his injury, and even with him, they need another ace for a playoff series.
DeGrom is under contract for this season as well as two years after that. He has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season despite not getting any run support, so he will not be cheap by any means. If there were a way to get DeGrom without giving up Hiura, or even Corbin Burnes, then it would happen, but there isn’t.
Would trading Hiura be worth it?
So this brings up the question, is giving up Hiura for a frontline starter worth it? I think the answer is yes, but only for a surefire ace. If Hiura was traded for somebody like JT Realmuto or for a 3 or 4 level starting pitcher, it wouldn’t be worth it because it isn’t truly filling a big need for the Brewers when they’re giving away their prized prospect to get it.
The Milwaukee Brewers are already a very good team, but second base is a position they are in need of, and Hiura seems like he would fit very well into the future of this team. However, for someone like DeGrom, who could be a leader of this rotation for multiple years including the stretch playoff run of 2018, you make that deal right away.
The fans of teams who fall in love with prospects will not love this deal, and their stance is understandable. Teams draft and trade for players with the idea of them possibly being on the big league team one day, and Hiura is certainly someone who projects well into this Brewers lineup.
At some point, you have to fully invest yourself in win now mode, and take some risks to try and get the best possible team you can get. That doesn’t mean blow up the farm system for one guy, but for the right deal, you have to try and get the best players that you possibly can to put your team in position to win a championship.
The July Trade Deadline
Keston Hiura is somebody that will receive quite a bit of attention around the July 31st Trade Deadline, and the Milwaukee Brewers will be involved in trade rumors given they continue to play well and remain towards the top of the standings. Whether it’s Jacob Degrom or another front line starter, Hiura should not be an untouchable prospect, but David Stearns will be careful to make sure that the move will make the team better now and for the future.
Stearns has not shown that he will jump on buying a rental. It’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility, but someone under control, such as DeGrom, would be someone that would apply to Stearns philosophy more than someone like a Manny Machado, who some experts have connected to the Brewers.
Keston Hiura is an incredible player with the bat, and can develop into an all around great player in this league. Whether he does that with the Brewers or not is yet to be seen, but it will take an elite player to get his bat out of the Milwaukee Brewers organization.