Brewers: 3 Brewers Players Who Will Be Better In 2023 and 2 Who Won't

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Brewer who won't be better in 2023 #1: DH Keston Hiura

I'm slightly surprised the Brewers didn't trade Keston Hiura during the offseason. It's possible that other teams simply weren't interested in Hiura and weren't willing to give up a player in order to get him. Like Yelich, things haven't gone to plan for Hiura since 2019. Unlike Yelich, Hiura did not have a track record of MLB performance prior to that and a series of MVP performances.

Hiura is firmly on the roster bubble heading into 2023. With Tellez at first base and Jesse Winker at DH, both of whom are projected to improve this year, Keston Hiura is a man without a clear path to playing time. He brings almost no value defensively and is limited in the positions he can play. Offensively, he hasn't brought the value to make it worth putting him in the lineup everyday and dealing with defensive struggles or putting him at DH.

Hiura has been in a three year long slump and his strikeout problems have continued to grow worse, despite swing changes and cutting down his high leg kick. He hasn't been in a regular starting role since early 2021, where his slump reached a rock bottom. Hiura needs regular playing time to get himself into a rhythm and get out of this slump, but he likely won't be finding that in Milwaukee.

To make matters more difficult, Hiura is now out of minor league options. They can't send him down to Triple-A to get everyday ABs. For now, that has hitting sitting on the bench as a limited defender and pinch hit option in a league with the DH and pinch hitting is not as common as it used to be.

In 2023, Hiura is slated to get sporadic playing time. He showed home run power when he did make contact, but his ever increasing strikeout rate jumped over 40% last year. Without regular ABs, that's not likely to decrease very much.

The shift ban won't help him either as Hiura did better against shifts in 2022 than he did with the defense playing straight up.