There is always a lot of talk surrounding Keston Hiura. The highly coveted hitting prospect who once was figured to be a focal point of the Brewers offense now finds himself fighting for a roster spot. There are opportunities for him to earn at bats as the DH, platoon at first, or possibly even the outfield, but first and foremost his bat will have to come to life again.
Nobody knows this better than Hiura himself, except perhaps his personal hitting coach. This offseason they have been focusing in on his leg kick, which is a key element of his swing.
Watching Hiura’s at bats so far this spring it does appear that the leg kick is not as big as it used to be. All of the adjustments made may not be visible to the eye, but so far he is seeing early positive results in game action, including a home run off Chris Paddack and multiple other hard hit balls.
Outside of Cactus League play, teammate Freddy Peralta said “That’s not the first home run he’s hit this spring”. It’s clear Hiura is in a good place right now, including from a confidence standpoint.
The hope is that this is just the start of what could be a very successful season for Keston Hiura and the Brewers in 2022.
When Hiura is confident and clicking on all cylinders offensively, he has the ability to influence any game with one swing of the bat. As mentioned, there would be opportunities to work him into the lineup. Additionally, odds are at some point the Brewers may need him to play for extended periods of time.
Hiura does have one minor league option remaining, so he could be shuttled back and forth between the major and minor leagues this year. New CBA rules have now limited this to five times per season, but hopefully Hiura is able to sustain success and force Craig Counsell to pencil his name in the lineup.
We are just three games into spring training, so there is a lot that still needs to be played out this March. Hopes are high that he can rebound from his struggles of seasons past and this about as perfect of a start that anyone could hope for in order for this to happen.
He’s made these changes and is seeing immediate results, which is a very positive sign. If he can get back to his 2019 levels of production and the Brewers get an improved Christian Yelich, that’s as good if not better than any free agent acquisitions they could’ve made this offseason.