Bryson Brigman has been very successful throughout his early baseball career, but the best is still yet to come for this MLB Draft eligible sophomore.
From starting varsity as a freshman in high school to traveling around the world to represent the United States in numerous tournaments, Brigman has baseball experiences that are definitely hard to match. Regardless of where he was playing, the 20-year-old has always found ways to prosper on the diamond.
Brigman started playing baseball at a very young age when his father, Vincent Brigman, got him involved in his local youth leagues. Vincent, who played college baseball at the University of the Pacific, served as Bryson’s coach throughout his early playing days, and he had a huge part in helping his son find a love for the sport of baseball.
“Growing up, my dad was a major influence in getting me into the game of baseball,” said Brigman. “I actually fell in love playing baseball, and I always loved being out there and having support from my dad. It always kept me wanting to play the game. ”
With his growing love for the game, Brigman continued to work on his craft, eventually leading him to try out for the 14U USA National Team. A tournament is set up by the National Team to select the team, and specific teams are invited to participate. After playing a few games, each player is evaluated, and the top 40 kids are selected. From there, the 40 players partake in a few workouts and games, and the team is eventually narrowed down to a final 25-man roster.
Brigman was not selected for the National Team that season, but his exposure to the national stage helped him as he began his high school career.
As a freshman at San Jose’s Valley Christian School, Brigman was inserted into the varsity lineup right away, quickly asserting himself as a key contributor for the Warriors. Although he was a little nervous about playing with and against older talent, Brigman was able to settle in quickly, as his prior baseball experiences definitely benefitted him as he faced this new challenge.
“I wasn’t really too worried about going in trying to play, but I was definitely a little nervous about playing with a bunch of older guys. When you’re playing with Seniors, it feels like they are so much older than you, which can be very intimidating. I felt that after playing the first couple of weeks and being out on the field with the guys, I really wasn’t too worried about anything, as I started to feel at home.”
Although he failed to make the team his first time around, Brigman wasn’t done with Team USA, as he returned to tryout two years later for their 16U team. This time he was successful in making the team, and spent the next three years playing for them.
Still to this day, Brigman is the only player in Team USA history to have won three World Championships. The team traveled to Mexico, Korea and Taiwan during their championship runs, but exposure to these other countries and how different they are compared to the United States was definitely eye-opening for Brigman.
“People realize it, but I think you can’t really understand how good we have it in the United States until you go to other places. These countries are nothing compared to the United States, and the main thing I learned is that I’m grateful for everything I have, and that I’m lucky that I was able to grow up in the United States. This experience definitely helped put it all into perspective.”
Following up his standout high school career and his time with Team USA, Brigman was ready to take his game to the next level. After looking at a few possible destinations, it was a clear choice that Brigman wanted to play his collegiate baseball and continue his studies at the University of San Diego.
Once again, Brigman was thrown into the fire early, as he became the team’s starting second baseman right away. As a natural shortstop, the move was an adjustment for him, but thanks to the help of his teammates and coaches, the transition seem to be a smooth one for Brigman.
“I just really feel like I had an easy transition into the game and I was lucky enough to do pretty well early on. My coaches and teammates were really good, as I felt right at home and was comfortable being on the team coming in as a freshman.”
As part of his stellar freshman campaign, Brigman went on to win the 2015 WCC Freshman of the Year Award, and was named to both the All-WCC Freshman Team and the First-Team All WCC. He was also a major factor in helping the Toreros take home the WCC Championship.
With the 2016 season just a few months away, Brigman once again faces some new challenges along the road. With the team needing to fill the void left by Kyle Holder at shortstop, Brigman will be asked to return back to his natural position, which he has been working on doing throughout the offseason.
While he works on feeling comfortable once again at shortstop, Brigman also is focused on improving offensively. His goal this offseason is to work on his approach, as he looks to solidify his swing in hopes of providing good at bats during the season.
In terms of the team, Brigman knows they have a tough schedule ahead. The Toderos get an early test right away, as they will take on Vanderbilt University, the defending College World Series runner-up. Although the schedule is tough, Brigman feels that chemistry will go a long way in helping his team be successful this season.
“The main thing for us is to keep our chemistry tight and to be able to pick our guys up when they are down. No one is just going to roll over and give us a win this season, so I feel like us picking each other up throughout the game and playing hard overall will help us being successful. ”
It’s no secret that Major League teams will be keeping their eye on this draft-eligible sophomore. This very talented middle infielder will definitely draw a lot of attention this season and beyond, but Brigman has a lot he wants to accomplish before he moves on to future endeavors, both on and off the baseball field.
“I’d really love to get to the College World Series. Growing up watching it, it would be great to be the first team from San Diego to win it all. For my degree, I’m studying Communications in Business right now. I’m really staying on track for my degree, and I’m making sure I take care of my business both on the field and in the classroom as well.”
You can follow Bryson on Twitter.