Brewers Draft 2B Keston Hiura With 9th Overall Pick
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers didn't see UC Irvine's Keston Hiura throw this season, but they saw him hit. They saw him hit a lot.
Limited to designated hitter duty by a right elbow injury that may or may not require Tommy John surgery, Hiura impressed enough at the plate that the Brewers made the sweet-swinging second baseman the ninth overall pick in the MLB Draft on Monday. It was the first of Milwaukee's three selections on Day 1 of the Draft.
"He's the best college hitter in the country," said Wynn Pelzer, the Brewers' area scout for Southern California. "That's what he showed all through the spring. It was a pleasure for me as a scout to go watch this guy perform offensively. ... He's a premium bat at a premium position, and he's going to be valuable for the Brewers down the road."
Hiura suffered a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow last April, and he re-injured it in November. He shut down throwing, had a PRP injection in January to speed healing and said he was able to hit pain-free throughout his junior season at UC Irvine.
In 199 at-bats for the Anteaters this season, Hiura hit .442 with a 1.260 OPS and eight home runs. He had more walks (50) than strikeouts (38).