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Inbox: How's Hiura developing?

Beat reporter Adam McCalvy fields offseason questions from fans
February 1, 2019

How do you compare Keston Hiura to Rickie Weeks as a prospect at the same point in his career? -- @LtColTJZ on Twitter I still get questions every week about whether Hiura could be the Opening Day second baseman, and the answer is still no. He'll get some Triple-A time

How do you compare Keston Hiura to Rickie Weeks as a prospect at the same point in his career?
-- @LtColTJZ on Twitter

I still get questions every week about whether Hiura could be the Opening Day second baseman, and the answer is still no. He'll get some Triple-A time and will clear Super Two territory before the Brewers consider adding him to the big league team. At Brewers On Deck last weekend, manager Craig Counsell said that barring an addition from outside the organization, they are preparing for a timeshare at second base to start the season.
Anyway, I loved this question, especially with all of the Hiura buzz entering camp. So I passed it along to one of our esteemed prospect gurus, Jonathan Mayo, and here's how he responded:
Here are my thoughts: Both were obviously highly-ranked. Weeks was a top 10 [overall] prospect twice because he was a five-tool kind of guy. I'd say that he had a higher ceiling than Hiura (though Hiura's ceiling is high) because of all the tools. Hiura's floor is much higher because he's such a great pure hitter. He's going to hit, even if the other tools aren't as outstanding all-around.
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I wouldn't be comfortable calling the Brewers front-runners for Corey Kluber, but our man Jon Paul Morosi reported again Thursday that they are at least in the mix. According to Morosi, the Brewers and Dodgers are still engaged on Kluber, but the chances of a deal are diminishing.
It's safe to say that when teams talk to the Brewers about a trade for a top player, the ask starts with Hiura and Corbin Burnes. But the Indians have a particular need for outfield depth, so Corey Ray would probably be in play. It would take multiple premium prospects to land Kluber, who is signed for $17 million in 2019 with two reasonable club options ($17.5 million in 2020, $18 million in '21) after that.

Nope. It turns out that while John was typing this question, Miley was taking a physical exam for the Astros before finalizing a one-year contract. The Brewers showed some early interest in him, but I'm told it never got serious. Miley will be an Astro next season.

There was a lot of chatter this week about the Brewers and Dallas Keuchel. I have been skeptical of this possibility all offseason, but a couple of factors make it seem more possible: 1. The number of free agents still out there looking for work, and, 2. The relationship between Keuchel's agent, Scott Boras, and Brewers owner Mark Attanasio. Surely, Boras has been in Attanasio's ear about clients like Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez. But I do not know whether anything is close.
Regarding Kluber and Keuchel: Kluber is obviously the superior pitcher, but Keuchel has two things going for him. He's left-handed, which would make him unique in Milwaukee's rotation, and he wouldn't cost any prospects in return.

Absolutely. But if any of us knew, we would talk about it. David Stearns makes it sound as if he has many trade and free-agent talks going right now.

Yes, with the caveat that it will remain a working construction site for some time, and everyone will have to exercise patience and understanding from time to time. I'm sure fans will see some signs of that when they start attending workouts and games. But the big stuff is done, and players are already there working out. Burnes posted some video to his Instagram story from the new combined weight room and the new agility field in the middle of the complex.

Yes. I've always thought that the best time to come is early, before the games start. The Brewers have always done those workouts on a series of fields on the Minor League side that are totally open to fans. Because Maryvale didn't draw thousands like other Cactus League complexes, fans have always been able to get up close and personal with players as they move from place to place.
I hope it remains that way at the new Brewers Fields of Phoenix, but we'll see. They converted a half-field behind the Major League complex to a full field with the precise dimensions of Miller Park, and I imagine that will get used a lot. Unless the fencing changed with the renovation, that field may not be as accessible to fans. We'll have a walk-through at the complex on Feb. 12, and I will pass along a better idea of how those practices will go after that.
I can already feel the sunshine. The rest of you come join us.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.