Brewer Hicklen may not be a name that most Kansas City Royals fans are watching at this point in Spring Training, but he certainly is a name that fans should begin taking notice of. After being drafted in the seventh round of the 2017 MLB Draft, Hicklen flashed big potential in limited time with the Royals’ organization last season.
He was able to play in 39 games for the Royals’ organization last season, hitting for a .321 average to go along with four home runs and 29 RBI’s. Those numbers certainly have given the Royals reason for excitement.
Standing in at 6-foot-2 and 208 pounds, Hicklen possesses every physical tool to make the Royals see a spot in the Majors in his future. Hicklen has a top-notch work ethic and a great attitude towards the game. He also leans on his faith in his career, while also living a life outside of baseball geared towards spreading word of his faith.
Kansas City looks to be headed into a bit of a re-tooling phase over the next few seasons. Hicklen is hoping to work his way up through the organization quickly and become a key part of the future.
Evan Massey of Lifestyle Sports 101 had the chance to sit down for an exclusive interview with Hicklen. Many topics were discussed and it is an excellent opportunity for baseball fans to get to know him a bit more.
First on the schedule was to talk about how life in the Royals’ organization has been going for Hicklen thus far.
“I have really enjoyed being in the Royals organization. They are first class from the top to the bottom. I really love the focus they have on developing young men with good character and integrity. More importantly, they want good Christian men that will represent Christ in a good manner. It has been nothing but a good experience since I first met my area scout, Nick Hamilton. When I look at the biggest differences, I would say the coaching. The coaches are all a lot younger guys who have played at the Big League level. They bring a different taste of experience. I came from one of the most structured and experience coaching staff’s in college baseball at UAB, with two coaches on the Staff having over 1,000 D1 college wins, so I can’t complain at all with where I came from. I am so thankful for the opportunity UAB gave me and it has made me into the player I am today.”
Hicklen went on to talk about what he tries to bring to the diamond each and every game.
“I think I bring some different characteristics than the normal baseball player. My biggest mission on the field is to love others and shine the light that God gave me. My biggest is to further his Kingdom. In doing that, I think I can be a guy that can turn a clubhouse around and help lead the team in the right direction. Not to mention, another asset I think I bring is my competitiveness and love for the game. If you are not going to the field every day with the thought of how thankful for you are for the ability, you’re taking it for granted. And each day I thank God for what he has given me, so it is easy to go out and have fun.”
He opened up a bit more about his faith and how it impacts him both on and off the field.
“I think the Philadelphia Eagles team is one of the biggest examples of how powerful your Christian Faith is. When you look at the Christian’s on that team, you have the three biggest leaders who proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ (the head coach, both first and second string quarterbacks) and that can transform the culture of a locker room. Every day I go to the field with a bracelet on my wrist, it says, “Tetelestai,” and it is Greek for “It is finished.” Those are the last words that Jesus spoke hanging on the cross for my sins to be forgiven. What else do I have to worry about? The biggest burden of our lives is taken off our shoulders because we have a loving God that forgives our sins. So how does that translate to sports? It gives me a confidence that is found nowhere else. I know WHO I am in Christ and it really doesn’t matter how I perform, but if I go out and do my best and represent Him, I know that at the end of the day I can live with myself. And the overwhelming sense of peace to know that He has his hand on me every day allows me to go through the valleys and peaks of a baseball season humble and thankful.”
At this point in his career, Hicklen has locked in on what some of his biggest strengths and weaknesses are.
“One of my biggest assets I think is my strength and speed. Playing football in college, I really got the opportunity to focus on my weightlifting and speed the whole summer. I felt like it paid dividends to my sophomore season in college and I could tell the weight I put on translated to my baseball season. This past offseason I went to a baseball-specific program at Godspeed Gym in Hoover, Alabama and I feel more prepared for this season than ever. I think my speed gives me the ability to play all three outfield spots and steal bases and put pressure on the defense. As far as weaknesses, I want to be more consistent in sticking to my approach every at-bat regardless of the score. Whatever the situation may be, I want to make sure I have enough control to stick to the plan I have put in my head. I think the mental game of baseball is so important, so walking up to that plate I am imagining myself getting that game-winning hit before it even happens. And I am hoping to consistently be able to refer back to that highlight in my head.”
Hicklen then talked about what some of his goals for the 2018 season are for the Royals.
“Looking into my first professional season I have a lot of goals. Some obvious ones that come to mind are to play well and get promoted, but that will all play out and take care of itself. As far as personal goals, I want to be a threat on the base paths every time I get out there. No matter the situation, I want to put pressure on the defense and pitcher. As far as hitting goes, I want to continue to find my identity as a hitter in professional baseball. In college, I started to hit for some more power, but professional is different. I just want to find out where I can best impact the team, but also being comfortable at the plate and produce the best results I can.”
We also talked about MLB players that he would model his game after or compare it to in some ways.
“I like to watch Paul Goldschmidt’s swing. I like to keep my swing as minimal and simple as possible and I think I have a lot of similarities with him. I also love Mike Trout! He is a bulldog with a great power and speed combo. I love the way he plays the game and the impact he has on his team.”
Who was Brewer a fan of growing up and who was his favorite player? He told us all about that and went on to discuss what it feels like to be a professional himself.
“I grew up a huge Atlanta Braves fan. Chipper Jones was always my favorite player. He was the reason I chose to be number 10 my whole life. To watch him get inducted into the Hall of Fame last month was a pretty cool moment knowing that I followed him my whole career. It’s a great feeling knowing that I get the chance to leave a legacy that he left for so many young kids but I am nowhere close to where I want to be. I definitely have a lot of work to be done.”
If you’re a young player with dreams of playing professionally, Brewer has some great advice for you.
“To be different and uncommon in everything you do. Don’t do the normal thing that everybody else is doing. I think people in this generation think that greatness is going to be given to them because they deserve it. Have the mentality that you don’t deserve anything and that you have to work for greatness. I’m so grateful my dad instilled the values in me at a young age and always pushed me to be the best version of myself I can be. But it goes deeper than how you physically work, focus on how you treat people. Whether it be coaches, trainers, or your parents show the utmost respect to everyone and be eager to learn. The more people that you get the chance to learn from the better off you’re going to be. Pick small things from each person that you think work for you and add them into your routines.”
Finally, Hicklen sent out a message to close out the interview with shoutouts to quite a few people.
“Yes, I have a website BrewerHicklen.com that I blog and update people on what’s going on in my life as well as encouraging blogs that I hope can impact your life for the better and make each person realize that it doesn’t matter your situation, each person has an opportunity that day to impact someone’s life. Regardless of your position in your company.
I want to thank my parents and family for supporting me my whole career and my newly engaged fiancé who has been the biggest blessing in my life. I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives pursuing God and looking to help bring others to Christ. And my college coaches who let me practice with them this offseason and Mitch Moreland, Red Sox 1B, for hitting with me this offseason and mentoring me. I am blessed!”
We hope that you have enjoyed this interview with Brewer Hicklen and will follow along as he takes the next step in his career this season.