By Matt Leon

By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — John Brue has emerged this season as one of the most feared hitters in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

The St. Joseph’s University junior outfielder is hitting a team-best .333 here in 2015. His 11 home runs place him second in the Atlantic 10 and his 44 runs batted in pace the conference.

This success for the Gloucester Catholic High School product comes after he struggled at the plate his first two years on Hawk Hill, hitting just .151 in 53 games as a freshman and sophomore.

So what’s clicked here as a junior?

“I think just maturing as a hitter,” Brue tells KYW Newsradio. “And just the mentality. Baseball, a lot of people say, is 90% mental. So I just got out of my head and just decided to do my thing out there and just go play my best and as hard as I can.”

Listen to the entire interview with St. Joseph’s John Brue

 

The left-handed hitting Brue needs just one more home run this season to tie the St. Joe’s record for longballs in a single season (12 by John Del Monte in 1978). Despite the impressive total, he says he doesn’t really considered himself a power hitter.

“I’m a line drive hitter that has power,” Brue says. “Because every time I think I’m a power hitter it doesn’t really turn out. So I just try and put a barrel on the ball.”

This production at the plate has turned a lot of heads in the A-10 and Brue says the way opposing pitchers have approached him as the season has gone on has changed.

“Definitely,” Brue says. “A lot of away pitches, a lot of off-speed. I just do my best to look for a fastball and if it’s off-speed I’ll adjust to it and do the best I can. I just try and wait for that one mistake that I’ll get in an at bat.”

As far as his focus going forward, Brue says he is keeping it simple.

“Not trying to do too much,” Brue says. “Staying within myself and just doing whatever we can to win as a team.”

Brue and the 16-22 Hawks open a weekend series with La Salle on Friday.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.