#20 Bryan Brickhouse
Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2011 Amateur Draft
From: The Woodlands, TX
The 2011 draft class was possibly the deepest crop of amateur talent in recent memory. For the Royals, the 2011 draft represented an enormous opportunity to restock a farm system that would eventually graduate 9 players in 2011. Eight months after the draft the Royals are likely feeling pretty successful in this endeavor. Third round pick Bryan Brickhouse is one of the primary reasons why.
After Bubba Starling's enormous $7.5 million signing bonus, no other 2011 Royals draftee received more cash than The Woodlands High School product Bryan Brickhouse. Brickhouse received $1.5 million, a bonus that was higher than nine of the bonuses handed out in the first round. Most years Brickhouse likely would have landed in the late first or supplemental round, however, thanks to the enormous depth of the draft class the Royals were able to nab Brickhouse in the third round.
Brickhouse's build doesn't offer much in the way of protection, however, his body type would suggest that he could one day be an innings eater in the rotation. At present he features a fastball that sits in the 92-95 mph range, that reach the high 90s at times. His curveball is inconsistent, but has shown flashes of being a plus offering when he commands it. Brickhouse also features an inconsistent change up. The change up will be pivotal in Brickhouse's ceiling as a big league prospect. If he can find consistency in his command and turn it into an average offering he could be a mid rotation starter, if not he could be a high leverage big league reliever.
For now the Royals will move Brickhouse along as a starter. I envision him hanging back in extended Spring Training in order to protect his young arm from the cold of the Midwest League. When the summer months roll around, he should get a shot in Kane County's rotation.
Picture credit: BaseballFactory.com