The Kansas City Royals prospect, Brewer Hicklen, had a standout season with High-A Wilmington. I had a chance to catch up with him.
Pitching dominates the Kansas City Royals prospect board with a few position players sprinkled in. It’s one area that new owner John Sherman and General Manager Dayton Moore will need to focus on in the 2020 MLB Draft, free agency, potential trades, and international free agency. However, one prospect who really stood out from the rest this season was outfielder, Brewer Hicklen.
The Royals’ 2017 seventh-round pick slashed 0.263/0.363/0.427 with 13 doubles, 7 triples, 14 home runs and 51 RBI’s in 125 games. The UAB product was terrific at the plate and in the field, recording 11 assists this season. We had the opportunity to chat with him about his season.
Q: I know you were initially planning on being a two-sport athlete at UAB, but focused on baseball when the football program was shut down. Did you ever consider transferring to potentially pursue a football career or was it an easy decision to transition your focus to baseball?
A: I never thought about transferring out of UAB. I knew that UAB was where I was supposed to be and that is where God called me. I had a love for all the coaches/people at UAB, the city, and an awesome church I was apart of.
When I look back at not getting the chance to play any “real games” in college football it definitely is sad, that was something that I dreamed about all the way from my childhood to my senior year of high school. I spent my whole high school career trying to get recruited to play football and hardly spent any time developing my baseball skills.
I wouldn’t necessarily say that football was my favorite, but I definitely spent more time pursuing it. It is something I still think about when I watch football on Saturdays; what “if” I would have gotten the chance to play! But all in all, I am happy where I am and having the time of my life playing baseball every day.
Q: I want to congratulate you on a successful 2019 season. What did you find was the biggest adjustment between Single-A and High-A?
A: Thank you! I would say the biggest adjustment for me is just getting comfortable adjusting and adapting my approach with what the pitcher is showing me during the game. This year was the first year I had been taught an advanced approach to hitting. My hitting coach, Larry Sutton, has become a big mentor in my life and one of my biggest reasons for my success.
This year I have been in a constant tug of war with myself trying to learn from my past mistakes, while also using that knowledge to set myself up for future success. I think it is known from anyone that knows me I am extremely hard on myself and at times, I get a little unrealistic with myself. I am such a competitor I want to do everything right and Sutt just continues to remind me it is a process and that every failure is molding me into the player I will become in the near future.
Through all the inconsistencies this season, I have continued to remind myself to find the victories in the small things, learn one thing from each failure, and eventually, my “potential” as a player will become a reality. This is one of my mottos for life, also.