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BYU baseball star Brock Hale received the honor of preseason All-West Coast Conference before the 2019 season started. Perfect Game deemed Hale as the conference’s “best pure hitter.” But just six months earlier, the MLB skipped over the senior in the draft for the second consecutive year.
The Mesa, Arizona, native received offers from the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, USC, Stanford, Oregon State and Grand Canyon University, along with various community colleges. Ultimately, Hale joined the Cougars in 2016 specializing as an outfielder.
As a sophomore, Hale led the WCC in batting average, slugging and on-base percentage. His batting average of .395 led BYU’s team and cracked the NCAA’s top 10 averages. As a result of his performance, his name floated around as a potential draft pick. Head coach Mike Littlewood spoke with Deseret News in June 2016 surrounding the potential of Hale being drafted that month into the MLB.
“Realistically, I think we’ll lose Brock Hale. I think that’s a sure thing,” Littlewood told the Deseret News. “I think he’s ready. He’s ready mentally and he’s ready physically. If he gets the right deal, I think he’ll go.”
However, just weeks later, no team drafted Hale.
“I think it was tough on him,” Littlewood said. “And honestly, I don’t know why he wasn’t drafted. It might be his age. I really have no idea.”
The following year, Hale remained positive and continued to prove his worth. Hale started in all 50 games as a member of the All-WCC First Team and maintained the No. 1 batting average for the Cougars, a .342 average. By the end of the season, Baseball America deemed the Cougar as WCC’s No. 3 draft pick for 2018.
Former team members Daniel Schneemann and David Clawson also made the drawing board. Schneemann joined the Cleveland Indians on June 6, 2018, while the Los Angeles Angels picked up Clawson. For the second year in a row, Hale’s dream of joining the MLB vanished as his name was skipped over yet again.
“It was pretty tough because that was a dream of mine growing up,” Hale said. “My sophomore year I did really well and last year I did really well and it didn’t happen.”
Hale maintained a positive mindset in the end and said he looked forward to playing for BYU as a senior.
“I think the biggest thing is the friendships and relationships that I have built here,” Hale said. “That’s helped me stay positive and not be too down about it.
Littlewood sees the leadership that Hale provides the team, adding he’s become a better leader this season.
“He’s a mature kid and he doesn’t get too high or too low,” Littlewood said. “I think he feels like he’s got something to prove to everyone this year, but he’s become a more vocal leader this year.”
Hale received recognition as a Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week on April 1, along with the title of the Rawlings WCC Player of the Week.
“All those things you want to talk about, he’s got,” Littlewood said. “He’s done well in every single area that we’ve asked him to do well in.”
With his final season in full swing, Hale’s mindset has shifted from solely baseball to establishing a career outside of sports.
“It’s something that I hadn’t really been thinking of, so it’s been exciting to figure out exactly what I want to do,” Hale said. “It’s been nice to know that there are other things after baseball.”
Hale is majoring in experience design and management and will graduate in December 2019. He plans to pursue sales through his upcoming internship with Ecolab.