- Ben Hall
Coastal Carolina shortstop Eric Brown will be one of the biggest steals in the 2022 MLB Draft
Coastal Carolina's star shortstop Eric Brown is one of the top rated middle infielders in the 2022 MLB Draft. From June 14-20, the MLB hosted a combine for the top draft picks to showcase and talk with MLB teams. The event was held at Petco Park in San Diego, California. He attended the MLB Combine last week and was able to talk with numerous MLB scouts.
"The MLB Combine, I really don’t know what I was feeling haha," Brown said. "It was impressive, amazing, once in a lifetime, all around just an experience you wouldn’t want to miss. There were about 250+ players and the fact the MLB was able to fit us all in to meeting teams, doing workouts, and doing medical work within a week is impressive. But the experience for me was a little different, I didn’t do any of the physical on field work, I was there to do meetings and medical work. So, I had a little bit more free time and I was able to walk around Petco Park. That is one of the prettiest fields I’ve been in with the city in the background. Also, can’t really beat the Cali weather, waking up and it’s 75 and sunny everyday! But I’m blessed to have experience a lot of what I have, so I will be forever thankful, but there’s a lot more work to be done and a lot more experiences to experience!"
With the Chanticleers, Brown has had quite the college career as he played consistently since his freshman year. As a freshman, Brown played in and started all 16 games before his season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the season was canceled, Brown was hitting .259 with three doubles, 10 runs batted in, 11 runs scored, and three stolen bases. Playing as a true freshman really helped him develop quickly.
"I think the coaches playing me consistently early on in my college career was really huge for me," Brown said. "Ever since I was 12 years old, my goal was to walk onto a D-1 college campus and start right away. But the coaches made that goal a reality. It gave me the confidence and the room for error. They knew from the jump that me being a freshman that I would make “freshman mistakes” but they trust me and stuck with me. So I credit the coaching staff for sticking with me through thick and thin! I do believe that is one of the main reasons why I was able to increase my numbers every year."
During his time in Conway, Brown played for head coach Gary Gilmore who has had quite a successful coaching career at Coastal Carolina. In his career with the Chanticleers, he has a record of 1,040–551–3. He has made the NCAA Tournament 17 times and won the National Championship in 2016. Brown went onto speak very highly on his head coach.
"Playing for Coach Gilmore is a once in a lifetime experience," Brown said. "He and the other coaches taught me so much more about myself and about the game. Coach Gilmore is a different breed he’s the type of man that you would never know that he’s hurting. He has been battling cancer for the past two years that we know of and he shows up on time for practice every single day doesn’t say a word or complain and that right there speaks for itself. He was more than just a coach he made sure he knew you personally. So not only did he push you to be better on the baseball field, he did it in a way that very few do."
In his sophomore season, Brown made a big jump. He hit .294 with nine home runs, 38 runs batted in, and 11 stolen bases. He was named to the 2021 All-Sun Belt second-team. Following his sophomore season, Brown played in the Cape Cod league during the summer where he had a ton of success. He was a Cape Cod League All-Star as he hit .269 with five home runs, three doubles, 22 runs batted in, 21 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases. He played for the Cotuit Kettleers.
Heading into his junior year, he was named D1Baseball Preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year, 2022 Perfect Game Preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year, and 2022 Perfect Game Preseason Sun Belt All-Conference. Brown had a phenomenal 2022 season. He hit .330 with seven home runs, 40 runs batted in, and 12 stolen bases. He helped lead his team to the 2022 NCAA Baseball Tournament, where the Chanticleers received an at-large bid.
They were the No. 3 seed in the Greenville Regional where they matched up with No. 2 seed Virginia Cavaliers. After losing handily in the first round, they bounced back eliminating No. 4 seed Coppin State in a 10-8 game. In their second elimination game, and a rematch with Virginia, they won 7-6 as they walked it off in the bottom of the 9th. This put them in the championship game for the regional where they had to defeat East Carolina twice. In Game 1, the Chanticleers came on strong and won 9-1. They had some struggles in Game 2 losing 13-4 ending their season. This was Brown's first time making the NCAA Tournament in his college career.
"Playing in my first NCAA Tournament was everything I dreamed of," Brown said. "Growing up I got to experience it through my brother as he made it to the college World Series. So I knew since 2014 I wanted to play in one. But there was just something different about that NCAA experience, I got to do it behind a family. I will love every single one of those boys and some will be in my wedding one day. So the NCAA tournament was everything I dreamed of but doing it with people I love just makes it that much better!"
Next for Brown will be the 2022 MLB Draft. The MLB Draft will take place July 17 and last until July 19. Brown still has the ability to return to colleges as he has remaining college eligibility. However, there is a good chance he goes somewhere in the top two rounds as he's truly one of the best shortstops in the MLB Draft. There are a ton of teams in the MLB who would love to have a shortstop as good as Brown in the next few seasons.
For as great of a hitter as Brown is, he was one of the best defenses shortstops in college baseball. He has the ability to play anywhere in the infield and he's shown that throughout his college career. one have questioned Brown's batting stance, but he quickly proved that it didn't matter how he stands, because he swings the bat extremely well. He's a high-IQ player and shows that in all aspects of the game. A team will draft Brown at some point in the second round, and we'll be looking on at some point in the next few years as it being one of the biggest steals in this draft.