(WFRV) – Every athlete plays for the chance to hear their name get called in the draft and for shortstop Eric Brown Jr. hearing his name called in the first round of the MLB draft was a dream come true.
“I was surrounded by a lot of friends and family. My mom, my dad, my hitting coach, everybody pretty much that I grew up with. It was a very special surreal moment,” said Brown Jr.
Sometimes the unknown of the draft can make it so fun – or nerve-wracking. Brown was ecstatic when he heard the Brewers were going to take a chance on the 21-year-old.
“I had no idea which team was going to take me between those picks. It happened to be the Brewers and I couldn’t be more happy,” Brown Jr. explained.
Brown’s junior season at Coastal Carolina was one to remember. He finished the year batting .330 with 7 home runs and 40 RBI. The disciplined built hitter Brown became as he matured into his college career was something the Brewers saw as a positive. For a team like Milwaukee, who is currently tied for the 4th most strikeouts in MLB, getting on base is a strong part of Brown’s game.
“One of my biggest pet peeves in baseball is striking out. I hate strikeouts,” said Brown Jr. “I always try to give myself the best opportunity and I believe that I’m going to swing at my pitch and I’m never going to swing at a pitcher’s pitch.”
“He’s a guy that has great bat-to-ball skills. There’s times where it’s not the prettiest thing mechanically, but he finds a way to move the ball. I can see him being a 20-25 home run guy in pro ball,” said Coastal Carolina head baseball coach Gary Gilmore.
Gilmore spoke highly of Brown in an exclusive interview with Local 5 Sports. Whether that’s offensively or defensively, Gilmore firmly believes there is another bar for Brown to reach in his game.
“The greater the challenge, the better he’s going to be. I do believe he’s going to be a way better pro player than college player. Every time I kind of set the bar higher, he would always find a way to reach it. Not many guys can do that,” said Gilmore on Brown Jr.
After working so hard, all of it has paid off. Getting drafted is the first step of Brown’s professional journey.
“This has been my dream since I could remember. Since I was a little kid. I was spending time with family and then my dream just came to a reality. I’m going to take some time tonight and take some time tomorrow to let it process. Then it’s time to get back to work,” Brown Jr. said.