Accolades keep stacking up for Chandler Hamilton (Ariz.) baseball star Nick Brueser. He’s a state champion and a Stanford commit and earlier this month, he won the junior home run derby held at Petco Park in San Diego during Major League Baseball’s All-Star weekend.
On Tuesday, he was named the MaxPreps Junior National Player of the Year.
“Being the junior national player of the year is a great honor. However, I don’t think about it when I’m playing,” Brueser said. “I just try to have fun and work hard, let the results take care of themselves.”
All-Star weekend was an eye-opening experience for Brueser. Putting balls on the third level of the Western Metal Supply Co. building in left field has to help the confidence. Also getting to see what it’s like in a big-league clubhouse and spend time with a Valley favorite whom Brueser models his game after made for a trip that will help propel the Hamilton star to the next level.
“My All-Star weekend experience was indescribable,” Brueser said. “Meeting Paul Goldschmidt was one of my favorite moments there. All-Star weekend helped me grow as a player because I got to see what it was like in a big league clubhouse and what it took to get there.”
Brueser committed to Stanford last summer. Playing in an elite conference like the Pac-12 and play for a program that had plenty of opportunity on the field were great draws for Brueser, but ultimately it was the all-around experience that sealed the deal.
“The combination of academics and athletics was what pushed them over the top and made it evident that I needed to be a Stanford Cardinal,” Brueser said.
When Brueser isn’t playing for Hamilton High School, an elite Arizona program, he plays for T-Rex Baseball club. They won the Perfect Game 17-U World Series held in Mesa, AZ earlier this week, though Brueser did not play in that tournament due to scheduling conflicts. On the roster are plenty of Pac-12 commits, as well as TCU commit Jacob Gonzalez, son of former Arizona Diamondback outfielder Luis Gonzalez, and many others.
“T-Rex has been great for me this summer. Most of the guys on the team had been committed before I joined but it was great playing with a bunch of great teammates and athletes," Brueser said.
"I am trying to get bigger, stronger, faster and just work hard every day to reach the level. Those who work the hardest seem to make it the farthest."
For a player of Brueser’s caliber, foregoing college and jumping into Major League Baseball from high school is always an option. Brueser doesn’t know where he will be taken in the draft next year, but he is going to let that situation play out before making any decisions.
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“The draft is so unpredictable that I have no idea what will happen that day. My family and I will have a decision to make and I trust when the day comes we will make the right one.”