Milwaukee Brewers top prospect Keston Hiura is playing baseball. Hiura is with the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League. How’s he doing so far?
Keston Hiura spent time in 2018 with the Carolina Mudcats in High-A and the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers. In 123 games, Hiura posted a .293/.357/.464 slash line with 13 homers and 15 stolen bases. He also racked up 74 runs scored, and 43 RBIs. He struck out 103 times, and drew 36 walks.
Hiura was every bit the top prospect he was drafted as, so what’s the latest on his performance in the Arizona Fall League?
What’s Hiura’s statline so far?
In nine games played with the Peoria Javelinas, Hiura has a.316/.422/.579 slash line. He’s mashed two homers, and stolen a pair of bases. He has 17(!) RBIs in only 38 plate appearances. Hiura was also named the ‘Player of the Week’ for his efforts last week. Honestly, Hiura might be too advanced for AFL pitching.
Has he been playing the field?
Hiura played 79 games at second base in the Minors in 2018. He’s also been playing the field in the AFL. The concerns over his defense were due to an elbow industry. It’s unclear if Hiura will stick at second base in the Majors, but he’s shown that he can play in the field. He’s not a DH-only forced into an infield spot.
Are there any other concerns?
The walks were lower than expected, and the strikeouts were higher than expected, but it’s not a red flag. What is a concern is Hiura’s base running. He was caught stealing 11 out of 26 times in the Minors in 2018, and he’s been caught two out of four times in the AFL so far. He’s not slow, so it’s just a matter of learning how to read pitchers, and getting a better jump.
What’s the plan for Hiura’s 2019 season?
That depends on how aggressive the Milwaukee Brewers want to be. If they think Hiura can handle it, he could start the season in Triple-A. However, he’s more likely to start the season in Double-A, stick around for a month, shred the league, and then get called up to Triple-A.
If the Milwaukee Brewers aggressively target a second baseman in the off season, that could signal how they feel about Hiura. Signing or dealing for a Major League-level second baseman with several years of control could indicate that Hiura’s future may lie at another position.