Spencer Brickhouse has hit 10 home runs in each of his first two seasons at East Carolina University.
The power-hitting first baseman’s best trait is his bat. Despite his above-average raw power to all fields, he struggled with strikeouts in his first two years.
Brickhouse has improved his plate discipline this season. His success at the plate has caused him to move into early-round consideration for June’s MLB draft.
Although he has to deal with scouts on a regular basis, Brickhouse is trying to keep his attention on ECU’s success, he said.
“It’s something I am trying to live life day by day and baseball day by day,” Brickhouse said. “I am just trying to get better with baseball and enjoy baseball. With my mindset, I am not guaranteed tomorrow. I just want to live the best I can right now. When June comes around and my name gets called, I will be very glad about that to pursue that career.”
Brickhouse, who’s 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, has a short, compact swing from the left side of the plate. He’s an aggressive hitter and uses his strength to drive the baseball.
His power has been his top skill since he was a prep star in North Carolina.
“I feel like one of my biggest strengths, hitting wise, is my consistency in my power,” Brickhouse said. “Also, I have a high baseball IQ. I can analyze the game very well and see how teams are playing things.”
Brickhouse quickly adjusted to the college game.
As a freshman in 2017, he hit .310 with 10 home runs and 28 RBIs in 197 at-bats. He struck out 57 times compared to drawing 24 walks, though.
His batting average slightly dipped last season, as he finished with a .298 average with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs in 235 at-bats. He showed considerable improvement with his plate discipline, recording 34 strikeouts and 33 walks.
The major strides he made throughout his sophomore season with his strikeout rate didn’t carry over into the Cape Cod League last summer. He struck out in 25 percent of his at-bats last summer.
This season, Brickhouse is off to a notable start. He’s hitting .397 with five home runs and 18 RBIs in 63 at-bats. He also has drawn more walks (16) than he has struck out (10) this season.
Limiting his strikeouts has been a point of emphasis for him this season.
“I had to focus on my approach at the plate,” Brickhouse said. “I had to work on my plate discipline and strike zone awareness. A lot of time my freshman year, I’d swing at a lot of balls out of the strike zone late in counts. I’ve tried to reduce that and be more productive late in counts.”
He also wants to improve his defense, he said. Most scouts view him as a first baseman in the professional ranks while some believe he could be a corner outfielder.
Brickhouse suffered a strained oblique and missed five games earlier this season. Since returning from injury, Brickhouse has recorded a hit in 13 of the 15 games to raise his average from .333 to .397.
Brickhouse isn’t worried that the oblique injury will resurface and hopes to produce at an elite level the remainder of the season.
“That problem is out of the way,” Brickhouse said. “I’m going forward now and hoping to be healthy from here on out.”
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for four years. He’s interviewed 133 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.