Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Prospect Countdown: #19 Bryan Brickhouse

19. Bryan Brickhouse Right Handed Pitcher

Age: 21
Height: 6'0" 
Weight: 195
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft

2013 Rank: 14

2012 Rank: 20

Landon Adams (13): Obviously, out of all of the contributors at Royal Revival, I have been the most impressed with Brickhouse. This is a combination of his pedigree, scouting reports, and the results he posted in 2014. The other posters on this blog are going to harp on Brickhouse's low to mid 90s stuff, but I am intrigued by the heaviness to it. In 2013, he ranked 8th on the circuit in groundball percentage at 57.8%. This came a year after ranking 22nd in the Midwest League with a 51.8% mark. 

In addition to this fastball, Brickhouse offers a 75-79 mph curveball, as well as a change up and slider that have shown the potential to be plus offerings. The former Bonus Baby, who received a $1.5 million signing bonus out of high school will likely be out until around the All-Star break due to Tommy John surgery. It will be extremely important that once he returns he begins to expand on his strikeout rate. A K:BB of 2.33 in low A isn't going to translate well enough as he moves up the ladder. Ultimately, Brickhouse could find a role as a power reliever, but I believe he has the upside of a #3. - @Landon_Adams

Paden Bennett (26): Brickhouse will turn 22 this June and last season he finally showed what he is capable of doing. In 11 games started, Brickhouse posted a 2.25 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 60 innings. Unfortunately, he was one of the victims of the villain of Tommy John Surgery.  

Brickhouse has a great fastball which can reach the mid to upper 90s but his best trait seems to be how many groundballs he gets.  He also keeps the ball in the ballpark demonstrated by his 3 home runs given up in his 60 innings.  Although Brickhouse fell victim to Tommy John I still think that he is young enough that he will recover and you could have a back of the rotation starter when it's all said and done. -@PadenBennett22

Joe Cox (17): I was reminded recently of my velocity bias among pitchers, which is probably why I am a fan of Bryan Brickhouse.  The now 21 year old righty who can dial it up in the mid 90s was having a great season in Lexington in the first half of the 2013 season.  Through 11 starts and 60 innings Brickhouse showed improved command from 2012 and a stabilized LOB%, dropping his ERA from 5.61 in 2012 to 2.25.  

Unfortunately, Brickhouse fell victim to injury requiring Tommy John Surgery, ending his 2013 season and will likely be out until at least the major league All-Star break in 2014.  This will stump his growth somewhat, but he is still very young and scouting reports seem to like his complimentary pitches outside of his dynamite fastball.  That being said, it will be interesting to see if Brickhouse can find the same velocity that he displayed before the injury, as that will be his calling card to the majors if everything works out.  Despite the injury, Brickhouse still has major league talent with the stuff to be a high leverage reliever, and if he can find command of all his pitches he could be a mid-rotation arm.

Dan Ware (29): A repeat stint in Low-A ball, this time with Lexington, turned out to be the wise decision for the 21 year old power arm.  Brickhouse threw 60 innings in 11 starts as part of a pretty potent rotation in Lexington, along with the likes of Miguel Almonte, Christian Binford, Daniel Stumpf, and Crawford Simmons.  

He lowered his ERA signficantly to 2.25, increased his K rate and decreased his BB rate. This was a great confidence boost for Bryan, considering his disappointing pro debut in 2012.  If Bryan can keep the momentum going and continue to polish his mechanics, he has the making to be a 2-3 starter.  The righty will likely start the '14 season with Wilmington. @Daniel_L_Ware

Nicholas Ian Allen (--): Like many of you, I am a fan of guys that can bring it in the mid 90s, especially if they can supplement their fastball with decent secondary pitches. Bryan Brickhouse seems to fit that mold, but to be honest I am just not that excited about him.

Brickhouse was off to a great start in Lexington in 2013. His best stretch came in the month of May, in which he posted a 4-0 record with a 1.55 ERA and held hitters to a .231 average. He was consistent. Only once did Brickhouse allow three earned runs in a start. In all, the numbers were much improved over 2012. Unfortunately, just one start into June, injury struck and the hard throwing right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery.

The Royals have a lot invested in Brickhouse, and will provide every opportunity for him to develop as a starter, but I see him as a middle reliever. He does not miss as man bats as you would like, but hitters do not make great contact off of him. He throws ground balls and keeps the ball in the ballpark. He throws hard and his fastball has some movement and he has a good hard slider, a decent curve, and is working on his changeup. He gets outs - he just does not excite me. - @NicholasIAllen

Total Points: 39

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