Keston Hiura 2017 MLB Draft Profile

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BAKERSFIELD, CA - MAY 02: UC Irvine infielder Keston Hiura (22) leads off first base during the game on May 02, 2017 between UC Irvine at Cal State Bakersfield at Hardt Field, in Bakersfield, CA. (Photo by David Dennis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Hot bats are priceless in this game. Bats that can already make any pitcher pay for a mistake and hit .600 in fall league are unheard of. However, taking a risk on an injured player who has not fielded in over a year is dangerous.

Keston Hiura 2017 MLB Draft Profile

Overview

One of the best bats available in the 2017 draft is University of California-Irvine junior Keston Hiura. The 5-11, 185 pound right-handed hitter got looks in 2014 while playing in the showcases following his senior year in Valencia, Califorina. No one took a nibble, as college was destined to be his destination. He played well enough to gain a spot on the Collegiate National Team.

Strengths

Keston Hiura is patient at the plate. In 2016, he successfully reached base in 52 consecutive¬†games, including a 19-game hit streak. This season with Irvine, he owns a slash of .411/.554/.667/1.221 through 52 games and 180 at-bats. He is a mature hitter, who waits for the pitch he wants and lays off junk. With the CNT, he posted a slash of .289/.356/.553 in 17 games. He has the tools at the plate to be a difference maker with both his eye for the strike zone and his ability to make contact to get on base. He also hit .600 in fall ball last year. UC-Irvine and USCNT used him as a designated hitter only. He would easily be a top 20 pick except…

Weaknesses

Hiura hurt his elbow last year, injuring the ligaments therein. He’s taken no reps this year in the field. Traditionally, he played the middle infield spots. Yet, given the questions about the elbow, it is hard to determine what team will take a chance on the monster numbers he put up in the box. Rumors abound that he needs Tommy John surgery. While he has a big bat, and that bat will serve him well as a professional, the elbow issue raises questions about where he will go in the draft.

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