A North Carolina native, Brett Banks grew up in Garner, attending Garner High School, where he lettered three years and hit a cumulative .245/.317/.333 with 10 doubles, 1 home run, 1 stolen base, and 13 walks to 42 strikeouts. He was a bit more proficient on the mound, posting a 5.08 ERA in 104.2 innings, allowing 111 hits, walking 81, and striking out 118. The right-hander had a fastball that touched the low-90s and developing breaking balls, but still needed a lot more work to become a viable professional, so he went undrafted after graduating. He attended Wake Tech in 2020, a community college in Raleigh, North Carolina, but did not pitch due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He transferred to Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, North Carolina in 2021 and got on the mound finally as a collegiate athlete, appearing in 8 games and posting a 0.50 ERA in 18.0 innings with 6 hits allowed, 6 walks, and 18 strikeouts. He went undrafted in the 2021 MLB Draft and pitched for the Johnson City Doughboys that summer in the newly-reformed Appalachian League, posting a 3.71 ERA in 17.0 innings over 8 games, with 15 hits allowed, 13 walks, and 19 strikeouts.
The right-hander transferred to UNC Wilmington for 2022, his red-shirt sophomore season. Banks struggled, appearing in 11 games and posting a 7.63 ERA in 30.2 innings, allowing 37 hits, walking 24, and striking out 35. Head Coach Randy Hood and Pitching Coach Kelly Secrest gave the right-hander some role clarity in 2023, using him only out of the bullpen in late innings, and Banks flourished. Appearing in 30 games, taking over the role of closer later in the season, he posted a 4.23 ERA in 38.1 innings, allowing 31 hits, walking 21, and striking out 44. Prior to the draft, Banks entered the transfer portal and committed to North Carolina State University, with the intention of transferring there if he was not selected as a high-round draft pick in the 2023 MLB Draft.
Banks throws from a high-three-quarters arm slot with a whippy arm. His fastball is an above-average pitch both by pure velocity and advanced pitch metrics. It sits in the mid-90s, topping out at 98 MPH, and features a high spin rate, giving the pitch as much as 20 inches of induced vertical break. He complements it with a low-to-mid-80s slider that features short, sharp break and in the future may be able to develop a bona fide cutter out of the pitch as well. The right-hander has had command problems throughout his high school and college career but is able to keep the ball close enough near the zone to entice batters.