Former Brewers first rounder destroying Triple-A pitching with his new organization

It's not the first time he's succeeded at that level, the question is whether he can parlay it into a big league gig.
Aug 22, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Keston Hiura (18) celebrates after hitting a home run in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 22, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Keston Hiura (18) celebrates after hitting a home run in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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In 2017, the Milwaukee Brewers used the 9th overall pick of the MLB draft to select Keston Hiura out of the University of California-Irvine. Just two years later, he was already making his MLB debut with the Crew.

Brewers fans surely remember his impressive 2019 rookie season. In 84 games, the second baseman would end up hitting .303 with a .938 OPS, 19 homers, 49 RBIs, and 23 doubles. It seemed as though a future cornerstone of the Milwaukee offense was officially in place.

Unfortunately, things would mostly only get worse from there. Hiura's offensive numbers would decline over the next couple years while the only thing that would rise was his strikeout rate. He would bounce back slightly in 2022, though a .226 average and .765 OPS were a far cry from his rookie year numbers.

Then in 2023, Hiura would fail to make the team out of spring training. He would go unclaimed after being designated for assignment, get outrighted to Triple-A, and spend the whole season there in Nashville before becoming a free agent this last offseason.

Hiura would sign a minor league deal with the Tigers, and despite a strong spring would start the season with their Triple-A Toledo ball club. 49 games later, he would be released and end up with the Angels, who signed him to another minor league contract earlier this month.

Now with the Angels' Triple-A team, former Brewers infielder Keston Hiura is absolutely mashing.

Hiura didn't quite have the beginning to the season he was hoping for while he was with Toledo. But in his first 14 games with the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees, he has gotten off to about as impressive a start as one could hope for.

In those 14 games, Hiura is hitting .400 with an insane 1.377 OPS in 62 plate appearances. What's even crazier is that he has nine home runs over that span, three more than he had in his 49 games with Toledo earlier this season. He actually hit yet another homer on Saturday night to make 10 homers in 15 games, but that game was suspended and will be completed on Sunday, so nothing is official.

Hiura has never had a problem producing at the Triple-A level, though - he has a career .295 average and .956 OPS at that level across three different organizations. The problem in Milwaukee is that he wasn't able to sustain that production the last few years when he'd be called up to the Brewers.

Maybe that won't be the case this time, though. Maybe he ends up getting his contract selected by the Angels and shows why he was a top 10 pick back in 2017. Here's hoping that he does because there are plenty of Brewers fans who still have a soft spot for the former member of the Crew and would love to see him succeed.

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