Valencia alumnus Keston Hiura makes MLB debut

Valencia baseball alumnus Keston Hiura at Valencia High School on Wednesday, November 21, 2018. Dan Watson/The Signal

Former Valencia baseball player and Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Keston Hiura was promoted on Tuesday morning and made his MLB debut in Philadelphia against the Phillies.

Leading off the top of the second inning, Hiura recorded a base hit in his first at-bat. Hitting a line drive single off of Phillies pitcher Jerad Eickhoff’s back, the rookie reached base safely to begin his career.

“It was really cool to see Keston get up there because we have had quite a few guys get to Double-A or Single-A and haven’t been able to make it up to the top level, but Keston has just had a great beginning to his career and now he’s getting a chance,” said Valencia baseball head coach Mike Killinger.

Hiura finished the game 2-for-3 with two singles and a walk in one of the most tantalizing Brewers debuts in the organization’s history in the Brewers’ 6-1 road win over the Phillies.

Graduating from Valencia High School in 2014, Hiura was named the Foothill League Player of the Year and garnered numerous other awards and honors. At the conclusion of his final campaign at Valencia, Hiura finished with a .500 batting average and led the team with 48 hits, 30 RBIs and a whopping 14 home runs.

“Early on in his sophomore and junior years, he was a very solid player,” Killinger said. “He was a leader from the start and fit right in with the younger guys. He really flipped the switch his senior year and from basically the fall all the way to the end of the season, everything he hit was just crushed and he ended up hitting .500 with 14 home runs his senior year.”

After graduation, Hiura spent three seasons playing for the University of California, Irvine finishing with a career batting average of .375, 236 hits, 135 RBIs and 22 home runs in 165 games played. He was selected ninth overall in the 2017 MLB Draft.

MORE: Valencia baseball falls to Harvard-Westlake in rematch of last year’s first-round playoff game

Spending the last three seasons in the minors, the 22-year-old had a breakout 2019 campaign with Triple-A San Antonio hitting .333, .408 on-base percentage and .698 slugging percentage in 147 plate appearances, logging 43 base hits and 11 home runs in the process.

Hiura was second in Triple-A with 24 extra-base hits and tied for ninth best in the minors with 11 home runs.

Hiura and the Brewers continue the four-game series with the Phillies in Philadelphia today at 4:05 p.m. before closing out the series tomorrow at 10:05 a.m.

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About the author

Diego Marquez

Diego Marquez

A native Angeleno, Diego is a sports aficionado that has played and covered multiple sports since he was a child. He is a graduate of California State University, Northridge and is a sports writer for The Signal.