Keston Hiura Elects Free Agency


According to his player page on, former top prospect Keston Hiura has elected free agency. He spent the 2023 season with the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate, the Nashville Sounds.

Hiura was the ninth overall selection in the 2017 draft. He wasted no time at all in making a strong first impression, batting .371 with a 1.033 OPS across stints at the Rookie and Low-A levels. He continued to hit the following season, beginning the year at High-A and earning a promotion to Double-A by June. The year after that was more of the same, as Hiura demolished Triple-A pitching en route to a big league promotion at just 22 years old. While some might have struggled after such a quick ascension to the highest level of the game, the young star didn’t skip a beat. He finished his rookie season with 19 home runs, nine stolen bases, and a .938 OPS in 84 games.

Unfortunately for Hiura, that’s where the good times stopped. He spent the full year with the Brewers in 2020, slashing a meager .212/.297/.410. Things took a turn for the worse the following year, as he hit .160 with a .563 OPS, bouncing back and forth between the major and minor leagues.

His bat started to look better in 2022, and Hiura had an .805 OPS at the All-Star break. Still, his underlying numbers were cause for concern; his 43.8% strikeout rate was untenable, and his .412 BABIP was masking deeper issues. Indeed, Hiura fell back down to earth over the final two months of the season, striking out far too often to make good use of his power bat. Ultimately, the Brewers couldn’t find a place for him on the active roster entering the 2023 campaign, and as he was out of options, they had no choice but to designate the once-promising slugger for assignment. He cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A, where he spent the season. His .308/.395/.565 slash line was impressive, but evidently not impressive enough to merit a reunion with the big league squad.

Now a free agent, Hiura is free to sign with a new organization, and perhaps a change of scenery is just what he needs. Next year will be his age-27 season, and if he continues to hit like he did at Triple-A, it’s hard to imagine he won’t make his way back to majors eventually.

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