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Keston Hiura 2B MIL

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Let me introduce you to the most polished bat in college baseball this year. 

 

He flew under the radar because he's not hitting a ton of HRs AND his elbow as so injured he didn't play in the field his junior (2017) season. But that didn't stop him from hitting .442 with a .567 OBP this past season. He won the 2017 NCAA batting crown. The Brewers thought enough of him to make him their 1st round draft pick. 

 

Well he's not disappointing anyone post draft. Since joining the Brewers minor system here are his stats in 107 ABs: 

 

AVG: .421

OBP .466

OPS 1.195 

 

They've quickly promoted him from rookie ball to A ball and he's the kinda kid who if he does well in AA next year I can see him skipping AAA. His name has not shown up in trade talks even though the Brewers are desperate for help and I don't think you'll see him get traded away. Even though he was a college junior he's only 20 years old. 

 

If you haven't scooped him up in dynasty or deep keeper leagues- you should. 

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One thing that will probably be under the radar with Hiura: He has a bit more power than it will appear to those only looking at stats. 

 

Hiura hit a total of 22 HR (7, 7 and 8) at UC Irvine.  Doesn't seem like a huge total, but Irvine is a spacious ballpark and HR aren't terribly common there.   The team hit a total of 72 HR during Hiura's time there.  In other words, during his time at Irvine, Hiurs hit a little over 30% of his team's HR. 

 

Granted, he's never likely to be more than a 15-20 HR type guy, but combine that power with a legit hit tool, and you could be looking at an annual .290/.300 w/ 20 HR in his prime.  

 

He's a pretty exciting fantasy prospect.  

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My favorite hitting prospect in the draft, enough so that I took him at #6 overall in my minor league draft. He's just incredibly polished and should move very quickly through the Brewer system. He doesn't have a monster ceiling, but he has a super high floor and still enough ceiling that you can get plenty excited about.

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I'm just going to throw out a few pie in the sky comps. Not saying he's going to be these guys, but if things work out: 

 

Daniel Murphy (but sub 10 SBs)

The good/healthy version of Justin Turner

The good version of Eric Hosmer- the sub 10 SB version

DJ LeMahieu with more pop but fewer SBs

 

 

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Surprised to not see more chatter on this guy as we get nearer to dynasty league drafts. Appears to be the best bat in the current draft class, with big ? surrounding his position on defense, as well as his elbow being healthy enough to play the field everyday. Clearly with a guy like Robert in the class theres some sexier bats but this guy seems to be about as solid of a bat that you can get in dynasty leagues as far as expected performance and what should be a relatively quick proximity. The only thing i have any real reservations about with him as he transtions is how the power plays. Anyone else have thoughts on this kid?

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Stud.

 

I have no reservations about ability to hit 20 homers annually especially in that ball park with juiced balls.  Now if someone is expecting 30 homers on a consistent basis, that would just be a product of over excitement and unreasonable expectations.

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25 minutes ago, I like baseball said:

Stud.

 

I have no reservations about ability to hit 20 homers annually especially in that ball park with juiced balls.  Now if someone is expecting 30 homers on a consistent basis, that would just be a product of over excitement and unreasonable expectations.

 

Park/current environment Id hope for the 20 HR yeah. Ive seen some saying 25/.300 for him as what he can do, which plays anywhere but its a lot more exciting if he sticks at 2b.

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Agreed with all the above. Hiura is a favorite of mine for fantasy baseball.. He may get dinged a bit on the lists that include defense, but if i'm doing strictly fantasy rankings.. he's probably in the top 15-20 based on potential.. 65 hit grade with 50 grade power? Sounds promising, sign me up. Outside of Kingery he's far and away the 2nd best 2B prospect.. 

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Just insanely quiet on this guy. Putting together my list I simply could not get over how advanced the bat is and I placed him at #10 overall.

Hiura had an impressive performance this spring, as he went 11-for-28 (.393) with a home run and seven RBI over 17 games.

Starting off at AA Biloxi, already a couple extra base hit and HR yesterday.

I honestly could see him spend a few months in AA and move directly to majors and entrench himself in the lineup this summer.

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3 minutes ago, ST. STEVEN said:

Just insanely quiet on this guy. Putting together my list I simply could not get over how advanced the bat is and I placed him at #10 overall.

Hiura had an impressive performance this spring, as he went 11-for-28 (.393) with a home run and seven RBI over 17 games.

Starting off at AA Biloxi, already a couple extra base hit and HR yesterday.

I honestly could see him spend a few months in AA and move directly to majors and entrench himself in the lineup this summer.

Excited to hear you are putting together your own list, look forward to seeing it! Keeping the topic to Hiura, I think he's one of the safer prospects in baseball, all the dude does is hit! What I find interesting about him though is two things, for a guy that has hit for such a high batting average consistently throughout his college and minor league career, he strikes out more than you would think...here are the numbers:

2015 College   15.59%
2016 College   18.11%
2017 College   14.56%
2017 RK-ball    18.06%
2017 A-ball       20.87%

His swinging strike rate in A-ball with an 11.1% mark so perhaps it's a consequence of being too patient? Regardless, he looks to be a high BAPIP guy so I think he maximizes his contact skills. The 2nd thing I find interesting is for us fantasy players, how much power/speed is there going to be? He was consistent in college, hitting 7 HRs in 2015, 7 HRs in 2016, and 8 in 2017. He followed that up with 4 in rookie ball in just 62 ABs and then none in A-ball in 105 ABs. Scouting reports suggest have placed 50/55 power grades on Hiura and that would translate to somewhere between either 15-18 or 19-22. He hasn't shown much of an aptitude to steal bases throughout his career, so his power projection becomes kinda important to his fantasy profile. This has me questioning his ceiling somewhat...and that's why I personally put him at 41 on my top 100 list. Am I being too conservative?

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I'm definitely high on hiura, I just drafted him in my 23 keeper league above the likes of Luis Robert, Taylor Trammel, Juan Soto, Estevan Florial.  He is truly a "safe" prospect if I've ever seen one.  Yes his ceiling is in question(unlike every player I just listed) but his floor is insanely high.  I think you have to look at him with the floor of a .290 hitter with 15-18 hrs and good counting stats since he'll probably be in the 2-hole.  For ceiling he's a .320 hitter with 25-30 hrs and great run/rbi production as a 2/3 hitter.  

 

my hopeful comp?

 

"[blank] is 22 years old. A left-handed hitter, he's shown steady development up the ladder, and has handled himself well in the upper minors at a young age. Scouts say he has above-average bat speed, and should be able to hit for average with plenty of doubles at the major league level. The main question about his bat is how much home run power he will develop. His home run totals the last three years are 15, 6, and 13. He seems to be whacking the ball for power quite well so far this season, granted the perils of small sample size. I know that some scouts project him to be a 20+ homer guy with maturity, while others believe he will settle into the 12-15 range."

 

Pretty sure this is about the same thing scouts are saying about Hiura(with a better hit tool).  Except this was Cano at age 22.  He went on to hit 14/15/19/14 hrs in his first 4 full seasons but figured it out to become a 25-30 hr contributer thereafter.  I could see a similar progression for Hiura.  

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40 minutes ago, BackyardBaseball said:

I'm definitely high on hiura, I just drafted him in my 23 keeper league above the likes of Luis Robert, Taylor Trammel, Juan Soto, Estevan Florial.  He is truly a "safe" prospect if I've ever seen one.  Yes his ceiling is in question(unlike every player I just listed) but his floor is insanely high.  I think you have to look at him with the floor of a .290 hitter with 15-18 hrs and good counting stats since he'll probably be in the 2-hole.  For ceiling he's a .320 hitter with 25-30 hrs and great run/rbi production as a 2/3 hitter.  

 

my hopeful comp?

 

"[blank] is 22 years old. A left-handed hitter, he's shown steady development up the ladder, and has handled himself well in the upper minors at a young age. Scouts say he has above-average bat speed, and should be able to hit for average with plenty of doubles at the major league level. The main question about his bat is how much home run power he will develop. His home run totals the last three years are 15, 6, and 13. He seems to be whacking the ball for power quite well so far this season, granted the perils of small sample size. I know that some scouts project him to be a 20+ homer guy with maturity, while others believe he will settle into the 12-15 range."

 

Pretty sure this is about the same thing scouts are saying about Hiura(with a better hit tool).  Except this was Cano at age 22.  He went on to hit 14/15/19/14 hrs in his first 4 full seasons but figured it out to become a 25-30 hr contributer thereafter.  I could see a similar progression for Hiura.  

 

Keston was very likely the best college hitter out of the draft.  I agree he should be taken ahead of all the names you listed except Juan Soto.  Soto isn't far behind the top bats in the minors (Vlad and Bichette).

 

Also Keston is a right handed hitter.

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54 minutes ago, FouLLine said:

 

Keston was very likely the best college hitter out of the draft.  I agree he should be taken ahead of all the names you listed except Juan Soto.  Soto isn't far behind the top bats in the minors (Vlad and Bichette).

 

Also Keston is a right handed hitter.

 

Yeah I took Soto 4 picks later, Hiura was before him cause I need a long term solution at 2b.  And I know, I was making the Cano comparison simply to show a good comparison to how Hiura's power could progress considering his current scouting reports which show him merely as a doubles machine(like cano started as)

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very slow start at 1-12 in the Carolina league. was hoping for a great start and being in AA by June or even sooner. I have faith the talent is there but I am slowing down his ETA til 2020 at this point.

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3 hours ago, hailfire4 said:

very slow start at 1-12 in the Carolina league. was hoping for a great start and being in AA by June or even sooner. I have faith the talent is there but I am slowing down his ETA til 2020 at this point.

 

Basing anything off of three games is silly.

 

In 2016, Rafael Devers hit 138 in April in the Carolina league and played 58 games in the MLB in 2017. 

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On 4/1/2018 at 9:11 PM, Fielder1831 said:

What is a the eta on Hiura? Read possibly 2018 but I think 19.

 

Roster Resource has his ETA at late 2019. First full season wouldn’t be until 2020.

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Love him. Absolutely love him. 

As far as young 2B prospects go, I think I like him even more than Kingery. 

Super high floor, and more upside that folks realize. 

 

The realistic "disappointing scenario" is that he's Placido Polanco. The realistic "hits ceiling" scenario is that he adds 22-25 homer pop to his sublime hit tool, and is essentially the modern Chase Utley, or an across-the-board contributor like Jose Ramirez, with less speed. 

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I think his upside is a modern day Jeff Kent minus a the 31 and 37HR seasons and with the dbag level dropped about 500%.

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4 for 5 - 3 R - 1 Hr - 2 RBI

 

He’s heating up finally, hitting over .500 for his last 6 games.  No chatter on the guy who has a hit tool as good as anyone in the minors, let’s just hope he can get his arm strong enough to throw from 2nd to 1st

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