On May 14th, Brewer fans were ecstatic when they received the news that coveted prospect, Keston Hiura, would start at second base while Travis Shaw rehabbed on the IL. And boy oh boy, did Hiura impress. While being called up, Hiura displayed all the reasons why he is the 11th ranked prospect (according to MLB.com) in all of baseball. As the everyday second baseman he hit .281 with an OPS of .865 in 17 games. He had a higher batting average and OPS during his time in the bigs than well-known solid second basemen like Starlin Castro, Yoan Moncada, and Ozzie Albies. Keston Hiura also has the same amount of home runs as the player he was sent down for, Travis Shaw, in 29 less games. As a hitter, Keston Hiura deserves a B+ grade for what he did as a replacement piece. The only reason he did not get an A was because of the fact, he struck out a lot. In only 17 games, the young second baseman struck out 23 times and only walked 3. This tells me that Hiura needs to be more selective at the plate and wait for the pitches he wants. Either way, 35% of Hiura’s games in the league were multi-hit games so the strikeout rate is a minor problem. If Hiura becomes more selective, there is no cap on the numbers he can rack up.
The one major problem Hiura had in his first month in the big leagues was his defense. In 67 chances, Keston had 4 errors for a fielding percentage of .942. If he continued the season at that rate, he would be the worst qualified defensive second baseman even underperforming Oakland’s, Jurickson Profar. Also, what the stats do not tell you, is the amount of double plays that could not be turned with Hiura at second. With Milwaukee, he deserved a D grade on the defensive side of the field, something he will definitely need to improve on when the games get tougher later on in the season.
Since being sent back down to AAA San Antonio, Keston Hiura has continued his hot hitting. He has generated 11 hits, 4 of them home runs, 2 doubles, and 11 RBIs in 34 at-bats. When Hiura was sent down for Travis Shaw, many, many, MANY, Brewer fans were upset with the move. Those fans are still upset considering Shaw has only 4 hits in 21 at-bats (.190 average) with 9 strikeouts since coming back. Also, The Mayor of Ding Dong City is coming off of one of his worst professional performances when he came to the plate 6 times and struck out 4 last series against the Astros. On the season, Shaw is hitting .167 with an OPS of .573 in 180 plate appearances. Who knows, maybe Shaw is feeling the heat of Keston Hiura who just dominated his first month in the bigs. I would. Hiura is a stud.
***All stats accurate as of 6:00 p.m on 6/14/2019 courtesy of baseball-reference.com***