BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The accolades keep on coming for Keston Hiura, as the Shuckers' standout second baseman prepares for Sunday's Futures Game, as a part of the MLB All-Star Weekend in Washington D.C.
"It feels great," Hiura told WLOX. "There's always a thought of possibly doing that and watching it on TV, but to actually be invited and to be part of the All-Star Game festivities, it's quite the feeling and I'm really excited for it."
"I think it's just being able to invited, that's just a blessing for me. It's gonna be fun a weekend for everyone."
It's the latest achievement for the Brewers' top-ranked prospect. Promoted to Double-A a little less than a year after being drafted 9th overall out of UC Irvine, Hiura continued to shine with the Shuckers, hitting safely in 12 of his first 14 games with Biloxi.
"Just sticking with my approach," Hiura said. "I know at this level, people have better stuff, they tend to throw more strikes. Being able to put the barrel on the ball when they surround the zone, I think that really helps as well. (I wasn't) pressing too much and just taking every pitch the same as you would in any other game."
However, things did settle down a bit in recent weeks. After seeing his average peak at .389 on June 15th, Hiura went just 11 of 67 at the plate in a span of 17 games, before finally breaking through again with Friday's 4/4, 2 RBI performance against Jacksonville.
"(It's) probably myself, getting myself out," Hiura said when asked why the numbers went down a bit. "Not swinging at the pitches that I want to be swinging at, fouling off balls that I should be hitting in play and whatnot. I've been kind of battling a little bit of a thumb injury (as well), so I think just more consistency, getting more comfortable at the plate, that's just really key right now."
Some Brewers fans are hopeful Hiura could make the leap to Milwaukee as early as next season, but he was patient through a year-long stint at designated hitter due to an elbow injury, and he's remaining patient through his current struggles.
"Being my first full season in professional baseball, I think there's always a ton more to learn. Especially out on the field right now, I'm lucky to be out there. (My arm is) feeling going and being able to make plays out there, but there's still a lot more to be learned there, and as you can see right now, there's a lot more to be learned at the plate."