Last night, the highest-drafted player in Wenatchee AppleSox history made his MLB debut as Keston Hiura started at second base and batted seventh in his major-league debut for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Hiura becomes the 13th AppleSox alum to appear in a major-league game and the second this season after Griffin Canning made his major-league debut on April 30 for the Los Angeles Angels. This marks the second year in which multiple former Sox have made their MLB debut after Blaine Hardy, Chad Smith and Marco Gonzales all debuted in 2014.
In his major-league debut, Hiura went 2-for-3 with two singles and a walk. He singled up the middle off Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jerad Eickhoff on a 2-2 pitch in the second inning to pick up a base hit in his first major-league at-bat.
After being summoned to the big leagues late Monday night, Hiura overcame a lack of sleep and jitters to record a successful MLB debut.
“I was kind of speechless and at a loss for words,” Hiura said. “It was amazing. I didn’t get much sleep.”
Hiura posted a historic season in his sole summer with the AppleSox; 2015. He hit .356 with 68 hits, 21 doubles, six triples, 42 RBI, nine HBP and 13 steals for the AppleSox in 2015, leading them in all of those categories. He set franchise single-season records in doubles, triples, extra-base hits and total bases and reached base in his final 41 games. In total, he reached base in all but one of his 49 games played. Hiura was named to the Perfect Game Summer Collegiate All-America First Team and the All-WCL First Game.
In three seasons for UC Irvine, Hiura slashed .375/.466/.581 with 22 home runs and 135 RBI. As a junior, Hiura led the nation and broke a 46-year school record with a .442 batting average while also leading the country with a .567 on-base percentage.
Hiura was selected ninth overall in the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Brewers. Ranked as the 15th-best prospect in MLB, Hiura is slashing .333/.408/.698 with 11 home runs and 26 RBI in 37 games for the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate, the San Antonio Missions. This is Hiura’s first year at the Triple-A level after slashing .293/.357/.464 while splitting last season between Advanced Single-A and Double-A.
Below is a list of AppleSox players who have appeared in an MLB game and when they made their debut.
Player Year of MLB Debut Year with AppleSox
Jason Hammel 2006 2001
Clayton Mortensen 2009 2005-06
Cole Gillespie 2010 2004
Tommy Milone 2011 2006
Steve Ames 2013 2008
Blaine Hardy 2014 2006
Chad Smith 2014 2008
Marco Gonzales 2014 2010
Trevor Brown 2015 2010
Pat Valaika 2016 2011
Zack Weiss 2018 2010
Griffin Canning 2019 2014
Keston Hiura 2019 2015