The Milwaukee Brewers have chosen to roll with top prospect Keston Hiura for the past 10 days. Does he look as good as advertised?
Eight games in the course of a Major League career is an exceptionally small sample size. However, it’s entirely possible to know whether or not a top prospect fits the bill or was just a bill of goods. In the case of Keston Hiura and the Milwaukee Brewers, it’s clear that the talent is there.
How’s Hiura hitting?
Since getting the call when third baseman Travis Shaw went on the IL, Hiura has slashed .273/.333/.455 in 36 plate appearances. He’s bashed a pair of homers, drawn one walk, and was hit by a pitch twice.
How about in the field?
Do you remember when Hiura was drafted and there were concerns about his glove and his throwing arm? He’s been completely fine at second base in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform. He’s looked smooth in the field, and his throws haven’t been an issue. Hiura had the one error in the field, but it’s hardly been a pattern. He can handle second base in the Majors.
Any red flags?
Not really? There are a few concerns, but they’re not red flags…yet. Hiura has only drawn one walk, and he’s struck out in 36.1% of his plate appearances. He’s never posted a strikeout rate lower than 18.1% in the Minors, so a high K-rate isn’t that big of a surprise during his first time through the league. The low walk rate is also concerning, but it’s only his first time through the Majors, and he’s posted walk rates over 6% at every level in the Minors. His strikeout rate will normalize, and he’ll pick up a few more walks.
What’s exciting about Hiura is the way he makes contact. On all the balls he’s put in play, 30% have been line drives. He can flat out hit, and he’s shown that he can field. There are other factors that will determine if he succeeds with the Milwaukee Brewers over the long haul, but the early returns are solid. Hiura could very well end up as the long term answer at second base for the Milwaukee Brewers if he proves capable of making adjustments at the plate, and continues to find his comfort zone in the field.