The last time the Milwaukee Brewers had a highly rated prospect at second base it was Rickie Weeks. How does their latest top second base prospect compare to the former Brewer?
Rickie Weeks was selected second overall in the 2003 amateur draft, and he had just about every tool a scout could possibly want. He could run, hit for power and average, throw, and catch. Weeks was the fifth rated prospect by Baseball America in 2004. He fell all the way to eighth in 2005.
Are the former prospect and the current prospect really that different?
How different are their profiles?
Weeks was a better athlete when he was coming out of college. Hiura is a solid athlete, but he appears to have better overall ‘baseball skills’. Weeks could draw a walk, and then steal a base…when he wasn’t trying to hit a three-run homer with the bases empty. Weeks did manage to post three consecutive 20+ homer seasons, but never put everything together to become the five-tool player that he was expected to become.
Hiura can draw a walk, but he’s probably not going to steal a ton of bases, and that only happens if he doesn’t spray a line drive somewhere in the outfield. Hiura is a hitting savant who could probably hit .280 in the Majors tomorrow. However, he has real power that will likely show up as he ages.
Hiura is also rated with a mediocre throwing arm, and does enough to get by at second base. He could develop into a solid defender, but he’s not the defender that Weeks was.
How about their actual numbers?
Oddly enough, they both spent their age-21 season in Double-A. Weeks played 133 games with Huntsville in 2004. Hiura spent 73 games with Biloxi last year.
Weeks slashed .256/.366/.407 with eight homers, 42 RBIs, 67 runs scored, and stole 11 bases in 23 attempts.
Hiura managed a .272/.339/.416 slash line with six homers, 20 RBIs, 36 runs scored, and stole 11 bases in 16 attempts.
What happened next for Weeks?
For Weeks’ career in the Minors, he owned a .287/.403/.492 slash line. In two seasons, one and a half really, Hiura owns a .313/.374/.502 slash line.
Weeks started the 2005 season in Triple-A, posted a .320/.435/.655 slash line, earned a call up, and held the starting second base job for the Milwaukee Brewers for the next seven years or so. He did make an All-Star team in 2011.
It’s unknown where Hiura will spend 2019. He’s a solid bet to open the year back in Double-A, but he could make it to Triple-A with a hot Spring, or a solid start to the season. The fact that the Milwaukee Brewers haven’t added a second baseman should indicate how highly he’s thought of by the organization. He’s could make his debut in Milwaukee sooner rather than later.