The pick is in and your newest Milwaukee Brewers prospect is:
Second Base, UC Irvine
6’0” 180 lbs.
Baseball America: 20
Minor League Ball: 15
MLB Pipeline Tool Grades:
Hit: 60 || Power: 50 || Run: 50 || Arm: 45 || Field: 45 || Overall: 50
Keston Hiura was ranked as the best college bat in the country coming in. While Hiura was given a 60 hit grade by MLB.com, many scouts gave him a 70.
The problem is he’s limited defensively and has an elbow injury that prevents him from throwing. He will likely come into the season at DH until the end of the year and then get Tommy John surgery in the offseason. He can then resume playing shortly after the start of the 2018 season.
When Hiura can play defense, he is best at second base or left field where his slightly below average arm plays better. This is an offensive pick, his defense only needs to be good enough. He was drafted because he is projected to bat .300+ with 15-25 homers in the majors.
In 2017, Hiura hit .442/.567/.693 with a 0.76 K/BB rate.
In an interview with the Milwaukee media Hiura said his elbow feels good and hasn’t bothered him. He won’t know if it’s still a problem until his next MRI or he starts throwing again.
I discussed Hiura in our college hitters preview last month saying, if a team felt good about the injury, he had potential to be the steal of the draft.
Stats via The Baseball Cube