Top Brewers age 25 and under #4 – INF Keston Hiura
After bursting onto the big league scene in 2019 with an incredible 19 home run showing in 84 games, Keston Hiura looked like he was going to be a key contributor to this Brewers lineup for years to come.
Unfortunately for both team and player, things haven’t gone according to plan for him ever since that season.
Battling through mechanical issues and off-the-field family health problems, Hiura has struggled mightily in each of the past two seasons, reaching an all-time low last season when he struck out 77 times in 197 plate appearances and finished the season with a .168 batting average.
Hiura looked very strong during this year’s Spring Training, hitting four home runs in 33 plate appearances and posting a .393 batting average while adding left field to his positional repertoire. To begin the regular season, Hiura hasn’t quite looked like his 2019-self but he seems to be better than he was in both 2020 and 2021.
Through his first nine games and 25 plate appearances, Hiura has five hits (including a home run) and a .238 batting average while making defensive appearances at both first and second base.
Top Brewers age 25 and under #3 – LHP Aaron Ashby
Aaron Ashby burst onto the scene last season for the Brewers, pitching in 31 innings down the stretch for the club, striking out 39 batters along the way – good for an 11.1 K/9 rate.
After a rough debut in June of last year, Ashby followed that first start up with three consecutive 2+ inning scoreless outings, lowering his ERA from 54.00 to 4.15, making it as low as 2.77 at one point.
While he certainly projects as a starting pitcher long-term, Ashby has proven to be very effective in long-relief situations as well, throwing multi-inning scoreless outings in relief in five of his 13 appearances last season.
Hidden behind Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, Eric Lauer and Adrian Houser on the starting pitcher depth chart, Ashby will function as a sixth-starter/long-relief option in 2022 for the Brewers.
He may find himself a staple in the Brewers’ rotation as soon as 2023.