Hiura was the Brewers first-round draft choice (#9 overall) this year, has settled into Class A ball quickly for the Timber Rattlers, slashing a hefty .382/.432.624 over his first 176 plate appearances.
Hiura has a small, stocky build with minimal projection left. He has an unusual load as he toe taps into a high leg kick, but he maintains a consistent, balanced and athletic hitting position. He has quick hands that help him get on plane early, and he finishes with an upward path creating leverage, and has some torque in the swing that allows him to drive balls to all fields. He has above-average bat speed and is showing extra-base-hit pop (23 XBH). Presently the power is gap-to-gap, but with his ability to backspin balls and his advanced ability to barrel balls up, he should start to hit balls in the air more (46% GB rate) and develop above-average power at maturity.
Hiura is a fringe-average runner (4.38 home-to-first times). He runs better underway, but doesn’t look to be much of a base-stealing threat. Currently DH’ing due to a ulnar collateral ligament issue, he doesn’t have a set position, but his pre-game work was at second base. He has a short arm action with little carry and had trouble throwing from angles, most likely because of the UCL trouble. His hands are quick and they work well, but the footwork is choppy and he doesn’t consistently get into proper positions to field the ball.
Hiura has an aggressive approach at the plate (12 walks in 176 plate appearances), and even though he is raking to a .389 batting average at Wisconsin, developing a more patient approach and taking more walks will benefit him. The amount of pre-pitch movement makes him susceptible to changing speeds away, and he does have his share of strikeouts (21.3%), but it’s a tolerable number given his extra-base-hit totals. Hiura has a moderate risk ceiling of a Role 60 player, with a floor of Role 55 above-average regular, with the only concern being how the arm and defense progress. That said, the hit tool should carry him to his ceiling.