The Milwaukee Brewers have found themselves with a log jam of players at first base with no clear cut everyday player. With the team in contention to win the division and potentially make a deep play off run, one has to wonder what should be done with Keston Hiura?
Twice this year he has been shuttled back to the minors. With the Nashville Sounds, you would not guess be able to guess that at the MLB level he isn’t finding success. In 20 minor league games this year he has a .403 batting average, 1.228 OPS, five home runs, and eight doubles.
One could argue that with both of his minor league stints he was recalled too soon. However, a big reason why he was recalled the second time was due to an injury to Daniel Vogelbach. Since then he has shown micro flashes of the player we saw in 2019, but the same plate discipline issues persist.
More recently, Hiura has seen a dip in his playing time. His numbers have not been pretty either.
With the MLB Trade Deadline looming and the Milwaukee Brewers having to make roster adjustments in the near future, what should the plan be with Hiura? Realistically there are three options to choose from.
Option 1: Continue to serve in bench role
This option is not ideal. With Rowdy Tellez and Jace Peterson currently getting more playing time then Hiura, the chances of Hiura catching fire and taking over the spot the remainder of the year are slim. Not to mention the Brewers might be looking to add a first basemen at this years trade deadline.
Option 2: Demotion to the Minor Leagues
This would make three stints this season to Nashville and what I think would be his final demotion. No matter how he performs, Hiura’s current situation feels very similar to Corbin Burnes in 2019. A chance to get consistent playing time and make the necessary adjustments to his mechanics and approach at the plate could go a long way in the future.
By sending him down and adding a first base solution at the deadline, Hiura can stay in the minors for the rest of 2021 and work on everything he needs to.
Option 3: Trade
Despite being a highly regarded hitting prospect, Hiura’s lack of production and high strike out numbers are not going to be very appealing to potential trade suitors. He is striking out at a career 34% clip and is at 38.7% this season. Trading Hiura this season likely would result in getting the least/worst return package, which makes one inclined to keep him in the organization.
There have not been any confirmed rumors that the Brewers are looking to part ways with Hiura. The MLB trade deadline is July 30th, so we should have answers on the Brewers plans for him in the near future.
The most likely, and probably best course of action at this point is Option 2. By sending Hiura down and adding a first baseman who can play well everyday, Milwaukee can maximize their chance this year and try to get Hiura right for 2022.
None of these options are ideal. The ideal option would be to have Hiura hitting well so nothing else would need to be done with him. But, alas, here we are.