Kansas City Royals: Reviewing debut seasons for top 2017 draft picks
OF, Brewer Hicklen, seventh round, pick No. 210, UAB
Like several of his fellow 2017 draft classmates, Brewer Hicklen split his time between a couple of affiliates this past summer. Few, if any, split their time as evenly as the outfielder out of UAB. Hicklen played in 19 games in the Arizona League and 20 games in the Pioneer League. He did markedly better in the former.
While some of his counting stats were fairly comparable, due in large part to 18 more at-bats in Idaho Falls, Hicklen’s triple-slash line dropped off considerably after he joined the Pioneer League. During his time with the AZL Royals, the right-handed hitter put up a .348/.439/.609 line. Those numbers fell across the board to .299/.384/.471. Granted, his overall numbers (.321/.409/.532) ended up pretty great, and the club would certainly take that kind of production moving forward.
As mentioned before, going beyond the slash line, Hicklen put up fairly comparable numbers across his two stops. He scored 19 runs in both places and drove in 13 (AZL) and 10 (Pioneer). His strikeout and walk numbers were similar. He had 24 strikeouts and nine walks in Arizona against 22 strikeouts and nine walks in Idaho Falls. Hicklen ironically had three doubles, three triples and three home runs in Arizona. After moving north, he had eight doubles, two triples and one homer.
The biggest dropoff came in regards to stolen bases. Despite reaching base a few more times in Idaho Falls, Hicklen attempted to steal just four bases. He successfully swiped three of them. Before that, he had successfully stolen bases on 13 of 16 attempts. Particularly, if his speed makes itself known in 2018, Hicklen has shown an ability to hit extremely well in the lower realms of the minor leagues.