UC Irvine baseball’s second baseman (2B) Keston Hiura officially signed a $4.57 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday evening.
Hiura inked the deal a little over a week of being selected ninth in the first round of the MLB draft—the highest any Anteater has been drawn in program history. Hiura was one of five Anteaters to go in this year’s draft, the most that the program has seen since 2010.
Having taken a PRP injection to help in the process of healing an injured elbow that had limited Hiura to designated hitter (DH) duties in his final year as an Anteater, Hiura and the Brewers also shared a positive report Wednesday when it was announced that the first round pick will not need surgery.
Per Tom Hadricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Hiura is expected to head off and workout at the Brewers’ Spring Training facility in Arizona before seeing some action in the Midwest league with the team’s Class A affiliate.
Without the opportunity to throw in the 2016-2017 season, Hiura served as DH for the Anteaters and still managed to become Division I college baseball’s best hitter, striking the top mark on the plate in the country at .442 with a .567 on-base percentage.
For his extraordinary hitting efficiency, which also enabled him to lead the Big West conference in runs and doubles, Hiura was named Big West Field Player of the Year. He has also nabbed six different All-American Honors, the most recent of which came from the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) who selected Hiura to the First Team as DH.
As of now, Hiura is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, an honor bestowed to the top-performing amateur player in the country.