MISSOULA — The starting first baseman for the Missoula Osprey stands at 6-feet, 4-inches and weighs a solid 235 pounds. He’s not only a power hitter, his last name just happens to be Brickhouse, but there’s more than meets the eye with this first-year pro.
“The Brickhouse name comes from Currituck County, North Carolina on the outer banks, and it’s a family name, it’s been passed on from generation to generation. It’s not a made-up one. My dad, he’s 6-foot-6, 250 pounds. He’s a big guy as well, so it kind of just runs in the family I guess,” said Spencer Brickhouse.
And with the name comes the assumption that his bat has some pop in it, and it does.
Brickhouse may only have two home runs this year, but has always hit for power in college, putting 31 balls over the fence in his last two seasons.
While he is in professional baseball, the rookie brings more than power to the game, boasting brains as well.
“I studied mechanical engineering. I started as electrical engineering, I took one class in electrical and just didn’t see it very well. I thought it was time to switch over and do mechanical. It actually runs in my family, my granddad was a mechanical engineer, my dad, he’s a mixture of mechanical, industrial and electrical engineer. I’ve always had the ability to logically look at things and being able to break things down. It’s something that my parents have always taught me how to do and they taught me how to think that way. It’s passed over into school and baseball and some coaches think I’m over-analyzing things, but I take it as a blessing. That’s kind of my personality,” said Brickhouse.
Brickhouse decided to leave East Carolina a year early and give pro baseball a shot, but he says engineering is what he has his sights set on for the long run.
“I have to go back to East Carolina to finish my degree for mechanical engineering. In the offseason, I’m going to try to do an internship with an engineering or pharmaceutical company to try to stay within the intellectual side of it and try not to lose everything I learned in college,” he said.
Whatever career path Brickhouse chooses, for now, the engineering is giving him an advantage out on the field.
“I took a lot of mechanical classes so I understand torsion and leverage and everything, so that’s something as a power hitter I need to understand to try to maximize whenever I go to the plate, but I try not to think about the actual numbers side of it, and once I got into pro ball I realized I needed to do whatever flowed,” he said. “Whatever felt good and whatever is smooth is the way of translating that a lot better rather than being jerky and not having a sense of smoothness with your swing. That’s something I had to focus on and try to bring that back once I got the wood bat back in my hand.”
Whatever Brickhouse has changed about his swing lately has helped, he’s finding gaps and is now batting a solid .281 with 21 RBIs. If the power finally comes around, he could be a household name in the near future.