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

Former SCV baseball players making their mark in MLB

In Keston Hiura’s senior year at Valencia in 2014, he hit 14 home runs. In his three years playing at the University of California, Irvine, he hit 22 home runs. So it should come as no surprise that Hiura is already making an impact since being called up to the MLB.

Hiura was recalled to the Milwaukee Brewers on June 28 and played in a game against Pittsburgh that night. He was 0-for-4 in the game, but he only picked up momentum from there.

He recorded a hit in the following two games, then went 2-for-5 on July 1 against Cincinnati with a home run. The Brewers won the game 8-6 and moved into first place in the National League Central ahead of Chicago.

Hiura was drafted ninth overall by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017, in his junior year at UC Irvine.

“He’s the best college hitter in the country. That’s what he showed all through the spring,” said the Brewers’ area scout for Southern California, Wynn Pelzer, after drafting Hiura.

He worked his way through the minor league ranks before making his first game appearance with the Brewers on May 14, 2019. He went 2-for-3 in his MLB debut.

By the end of his first tenure in Milwaukee, Hiura had hit five home runs. At the end of May, he was hitting .296 with a slugging percentage of .537. On June 1, however, Hiura was designated to the San Antonio Missions, the Brewers’ triple-A affiliate.

Milwaukee general manager David Stearns had said he was impressed with Hiura in his first MLB games.

“I think we saw a player who can really hit. He has hit throughout his entire life, his amateur career and professional career, and he carried that over to the major league level,” Stearns told the Wisconsin State Journal. “We saw more or less what we expected to see from him.”

The stay in San Antonio didn’t last long and he was recalled on June 28.

Currently, Hiura owns a .267 batting average, going 24-for-90 with 10 RBIs and one stolen base. His home run total has risen to six.

The Brewers next play the Pirates today at 1:05 p.m. on Fox Sports West.

Valaika homers with Rockies

On June 28, the same day Hiura was recalled from the minor leagues, Hart alumnus Pat Valaika hit a home run for the Colorado Rockies in a 13-9 win over the Dodgers.

It was Valaika’s first MLB hit since April 8 and the two-run home run sparked an eight-run fifth inning. The win ended a 12-game losing streak against the Dodgers.

“He’s been frustrated,” Rockies manager Bud Black told MLB.com after the game. “But he keeps coming every day with an attitude that it’s going to change, which is awesome. He doesn’t feel sorry for himself. It’s a tough role to be in, but we couldn’t be happier for Pat — teammates, coaching staff — because we know what this guy is all about.”

Bauer picks up seventh win

Hart alumnus Trevor Bauer improved to 7-6 in Cleveland’s 9-5 win over Kansas City. He gave up five runs, 11 hits and recorded six strikeouts in six innings.

This season, Bauer currently has a 3.74 ERA with the Indians. He’s yielded 100 hits and 61 runs in 125 innings.

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