With the 9th overall pick in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft, the Brewers chose 2B/OF Keston Hiura, whose hitting abilities caused Milwaukee to reach slightly above his projected slot to grab the UC-Irvine product.
As a 20 year-old college player, Hiura is viewed as a more known quantity than his high school counterparts, which gave the Brewers more confidence in drafting him. A natural hitter, Hiura was tabbed to be a member of the Team USA college team this past year.
Though his 5’11” frame could limit his power output, Hiura could top out at 25 home runs per season at the major league level. His contact capabilities were his biggest plus entering the draft process, as Hiura hit for .375 this past year in the hard-fought Big West conference.
The major knock on Hiura is his defensive capabilities, as he has played both 2nd base and outfield. An elbow injury forced him to stay at designated hitter this past year for the Anteaters, which convoluted the problem even more. As a National League team, the Brewers would have little value for a designated hitter. Hiura is viewed as an average defender in the middle of the infield, and playing second base would limit the range of his throws and thus take some pressure off of his elbow.
With the pure hitting ability of a veteran MLB player and being out of his teens, Hiura could be forcing his way onto the Brewers roster sooner rather than later.