Brooks signs with Bishops

Published 7:40 pm Friday, June 10, 2011

Washington pitcher Hatteras Brooks (front row, center) is flanked by his mother Billie Brooks (left) and father Bo Brooks as he signs a National Letter of Intent to play baseball for N.C. Wesleyan on Thursday at Washington High School. Pictured behind Brooks is (from left) Washington head baseball coach Matt Burnett, assistant coach Joe Duke and athletic director Allison Jones. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

He’s proven time and time again that he is one of the top prep pitchers in the area but next season Hatteras Brooks will look to make a name for himself on the collegiate level as the Washington ace received a scholarship to play baseball for N.C. Wesleyan.
Brooks finished his senior season with the Pam Pack going 6-4 with a 3.47 ERA and on Thursday said that he was thrilled to be a Battling Bishop. A big reason for Brooks’ excitement was that he felt extremely comfortable with Wesleyan head coach Charlie Long.
“He was just very easy to talk to. He cared more about not just playing baseball, but building a team relationships,” Brooks said. “We have to do 40 hours of community service every semester. I thought that was pretty neat, and that’s his rule not the schools.”
Helping out the community fits hand and hand with Brooks who plans on majoring in education and becoming a math teacher and a baseball coach.
For now, it will be Brooks who will be doing the learning as he prepares for his freshman season. Part of that preparation will be for the lean 6-2, 140-pounder to begin weight and endurance training.
Brooks’ frame is one that scouts tend to look for in pitching prospects because it fits the profile of so many successful hurlers, but the ace still needs to put on a few pounds. The crafty right-hander has had success at the prep level thanks to an array of off-speed pitches that baffle batters with late movement. However, Washington baseball coach Matt Burnett said with a little added strength the sky is the limit.
“I think that Hatteras’ best stuff is his secondary stuff,” Burnett said. “Right now Hatteras needs to be on a good collegiate weight program and what that’s going to do for him, being at a program like Wesleyan that is really invested in developing their players, is it’s going to allow him to take his fastball, which right now is about 83-84 (MPH) and get him to 87-88. Now, instead of having a mid-week starter you have a potential No. 1 guy to go on Friday night.
“As a coach, you look at the frame, you look at the competitiveness and you look at the desire and work ethic and (N.C. Wesleyan) is getting a good one. They are not only getting a good pitcher but they’re getting a heck-of-a kid.”
When Brooks makes the 1-hour-and-45 minute drive to Wesleyan he will take with him a biting curveball and nasty changeup that darts down and away from right-handed batters.
“I’ve probably have thrown only 50 fastballs this season,” Brooks said. “I throw the circle change and I hold it real loose … I learned it from my old travel ball coach and he told there is no standard way to throw a pitch; it’s all about feeling comfortable about it.”
Also feeling very comfortable is Brooks’ father Bo and mother Billie, who were happy that they will be able to see Hatteras play ball for the next four years.
“As far as Wesleyan, I think it’s great with the baseball but they are also getting a great student,” Billie said. “It’s a great fit.”
Bo was equally happy.
“I’m definitely excited about it,” Bo said. “It’s just overall how much work he put into it. I have a picture of him playing baseball in my office and he has the same form since he was 9-years old. He’s continued to work on it all the way through. It’s his work ethic that got him here.
“Hatteras is one of the youngest seniors at the high school and he could easily be a junior this year. He has accomplished a lot at his young age. He will begin college as a 17-year old student. The Wesleyan coach, along with Wingate (which was also interested in Hatteras) both see great potential in his abilities as a pitcher because of the baseball intelligence that he has.”
That baseball IQ was fostered during his four years on the varsity squad.
“Darin Vaughn, the previous athletic director and baseball coach at Washington who is now an MLB scout, put Hatteras on the Pam Pack as a freshmen and I would just like to thank him for seeing the potential in him,” Bo said.