Former Brewers Top Prospect Gets Needed Change Of Scenery With New Home In AL Central

Keston Hiura's Brewers career ended a lot earlier than originally hoped

Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers
Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers / Kayla Wolf/GettyImages

The fall of the Keston Hiura Era in Milwaukee before it ever really got started has been one of the larger disappointments in recent Brewers memory. Now, it's officially at an end.

Hiura was designated for assignment at the end of last year's spring training, and he spent the entire season in Triple-A Nashville, putting up monster numbers. He elected free agency at the end of the year and has been languishing on the free agent market ever since. No more.

On Friday, Hiura found a new home, signing a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers with an invite to MLB spring training.

Keston Hiura's new home in the AL Central should give him the change of scenery he needs.

Hiura arrived in Milwaukee in 2019 with much fanfare. He was a highly touted top prospect after being the 9th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. Hiura hit .303 with 19 homers and a .938 OPS his rookie year and it seemed to be a sign of greater things to come.

Instead, what followed was a series of struggles. The shortened 2020 season and odd circumstances around it saw Hiura fall into a slump and his strikeout rate jump. Then he wasn't able to rebound in 2021, losing his starting job after an extreme slump to start the year. Since then, he was a part time player.

Then-Brewers manager Craig Counsell put Hiura into a role he wasn't suited for, which didn't help things. Hiura has reverse splits, faring better against righties than lefties, but Hiura primarily faced lefties in 2022 as a platoon bat. Hiura's struggles continued and once he ran out of minor league options, he was DFAed in 2023.

Hiura now latches on with a new team in the AL Central with the Detroit Tigers. He'll try to make the club as a first base or DH option. He can play some left field, but isn't regarded as a strong defender at any position.

The Tigers currently have former No. 1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson at first base and Kerry Carpenter at DH, which means there isn't much playing time available for Hiura. He could look to earn a bench spot to fill in when needed or play some outfield. It's a fresh start in a new organization for a player that desperately needed one.

Hiura got a tough shake in Milwaukee and a change of scenery could help him get his career back on track.