Brewers' hitting machine Hiura named AFL MVP

November 17th, 2018

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Keston Hiura hit in college, has hit everywhere he's played in the Minors and continued to rake in the Arizona Fall League, where he was named league MVP.
The Brewers' No. 1 prospect (No. 30 overall) hit .323/.371/.563 through 23 games with the Peoria Javelinas. He also collected 33 RBIs -- a number only Mike Olt (43, 2011) has eclipsed in the past 10 AFL seasons -- and finished fourth in the league with five homers.
"It's exciting," Hiura said. "It's been a big honor and I've had a great time out here, meeting new people, playing against some of the best talent around the world. I'm excited to be here and I'm grateful to receive this award."
:: Complete coveraege of the 2018 AFL championship game ::
Tyler Nevin, the Rockies' No. 11 prospect, finished second in MVP voting, but despite winning the batting title and hitting .426/.535/.593 over 17 games, Hiura ran away with the MVP award.
The 2017 first-round Draft pick got off to a fast start in Arizona as he crushed a three-run double on Opening Day and followed that up with a grand slam the next day. Hiura went on to win the Fall League's Hitter of the Week Award in Week 2, during which he hit .391 with 10 RBIs, five from one game.
Hiura certainly impressed in Arizona, although his ability to hit was hardly a surprise. Often referred to as the best hitter in his Draft class, the 22-year-old hit .371 in his pro debut and then hit .293/.357/.464 over 123 games with Class A Advanced Carolina and Double-A Biloxi in 2018.
"It's a success in my eyes," Hiura said of his 2018 season. "A big goal for me this year was to stay healthy and play as many games as I can out in the field and I was able to achieve my goal."
The offensive numbers jump off the page and played a large part in Hiura winning the league's MVP award, however, he came to the AFL to gets extra reps defensively.
A right-elbow injury prevented Hiura from beginning his career at second base and relegated him to DH duties for the bulk of the 2017 and the beginning of 2018.
Now fully healthy Hiura has spent the entire AFL at second base, as well as getting in extra work pre-game and is pleased with the progress he has made.
"I wasn't able to start off last season at second base, DH'd for the first month, so to be able to get that month back here against players that are smoking balls at you, making you move, different shifts as well. All that comes together, it definitely helps you feel a little more comfortable out here."
Here is the complete list of Arizona Fall League Joe Black MVP Award winners:
2018 -- Keston Hiura (Brewers), 2B, Peoria Javelinas
2017 -- Ronald Acuna (Braves, OF, Peoria Javelinas
2016 -- (Yankees), SS, Scottsdale Scorpions
2015 -- (White Sox), OF, Glendale Desert Dogs
2014 -- Greg Bird (Yankees), 1B, Scottsdale Scorpions
2013 -- (Cubs), 3B, Mesa Solar Sox
2012 -- Chris McGuiness (Rangers), 1B, Surprise Solar Sox
2011 -- (Rockies), 3B, Salt River Rafters
2010 -- (Mariners), 2B, Peoria Javelinas
2009 -- Grant Desme (A's), OF, Phoenix Desert Dogs
2008 -- Tommy Hanson (Braves), RHP, Mesa Solar Sox
2007 -- (Cubs), OF, Mesa Solar Sox
2006 -- Chip Cannon (Blue Jays), 1B, Phoenix Desert Dogs
2005 -- Eric Duncan (Yankees), 3B, Grand Canyon Rafters
2004 -- Chris Shelton (Tigers), DH, Grand Canyong Rafters
2003 -- Jason Dubois (Cubs), OF, Mesa Solar Sox
2002 -- Ken Harvey (Royals), 1B, Scottsdale Scorpions