Being on top of the National League Central division after a hard-fought start to their 2019 season, the Milwaukee Brewers are looking to keep up their recent stretch of dominant play, having won four of their last six games. Having had Keston Hiura fill in at second base was an added bonus for this team, especially with how well he succeeded.
Across only 17 games and 16 starts, Hiura had a good go of it at the plate, earning a .281 average in 64 at-bats. While a bit high on strikeouts with 23 and low on walks with only three, Hiura has been able to bring his plus-plus bat to the majors without missing a beat.
When he was first called up, Hiura struggled to adjust to MLB pitching, routinely behind and late on fastballs. Once the adjustment was made, Hiura was able to barrel up the ball like he had throughout all the steps of the minor leagues and began to tear the cover off of it.
Hiura was only brought up due to the injury and slump to Travis Shaw, who was the incumbent second baseman for the Brewers. Now healthy after having gone on a rehab assignment, Shaw is being called back up to the big-league squad, taking the place of Hiura on the active roster.
With the demotion, Hiura will now go back down to Triple-A San Antonio, where he will bide his time and wait his turn until he is able to come up again and prove to the team why he deserves to be a mainstay up in the majors for a long time.
One of the bigger knocks of Hiura has been his defense, which has unfortunately also transferred to the big-league level too, having made three errors in his short time. While positionally limited to playing second base, Hiura was tried in left field during spring training and was decently solid out there, which leaves the door open for an eventual role that could have Hiura being able to play multiple defensive roles, which would make him that much more valuable for this squad.
Brewers fans everywhere seem to be quite unhappy at the demotion of Hiura, and they should be – his production, while in a short timeframe, was exactly what the Brewers needed to stay above water with Shaw being out. While Shaw’s offensive production has gone down considerably this season, his defense ranks higher than what Hiura can bring to the table, which may have been a big deciding factor into what moves would be made with Shaw back healthy and ready to come back to the big leagues.
Even though he should not have been demoted, Hiura has demonstrated to the Brewers front office and team that he is more than capable of being an everyday guy at second base, which is exactly what he did when he was up with the team. As a proven commodity that needs to tweak a few things, the Brewers have a superstar waiting in the wings that has finally gotten his feet wet in the highest level of baseball, waiting for the right moment to seize a starting role and not look back.