Future Diamond Heel: Tyler Ramirez

Inside Carolina profiles UNC's 2013 baseball recruiting class. Today the spotlight is on Tyler Ramirez.

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Bio: Ramirez is a 5-foot-10, 185-pound outfielder from Corolla, N.C. He is ranked in the top-1000 recruits in the country by Perfect Game. Ramirez plays for Virginia Beach (Va.) Cape Henry Collegiate as well as the Tidewater Orioles scout team.

Recruitment: North Carolina first contacted Ramirez last fall during his junior year. Just a few days after Thanksgiving Ramirez visited Chapel Hill. The trip confirmed what he already thought about the North Carolina baseball program.

"Starting off, UNC was always probably my number one just because they're a great program," Ramirez said. "But once you get down there you can really see yourself playing there. It really wasn't too much of a difficult decision on my part."

Living in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but playing high school baseball in Virginia, exposed Ramirez to programs in both states. He received offers from Richmond, William & Mary, Old Dominion among other CAA schools. Virginia and Maryland also recruited him.

Why Carolina? Ramirez appreciated the fact that North Carolina is an elite baseball program. However, Ramirez, who hopes to one day attend law school, desired a university that offered a top-notch education in addition to a great baseball program.

"He's absolutely excited to go to Chapel Hill," Cape Henry Collegiate head coach Tim Hummel said. "That's first and foremost. That's number one for him and his family. Tyler is a bright student as well. He's a hard worker in the classroom. He's looking forward to an education at Chapel Hill, so number one is that."

In order to get the most out of his experience at North Carolina, Ramirez expects to take full advantage of all the resources available to him. On his visit last fall, Ramirez learned more about what the baseball program as well as the school has in place to help him succeed.

"I really like the school," Ramirez mentioned. "I wanted to go somewhere I can have a great education and that really appealed to me and also the facilities at the baseball stadium and everything they offer. We walked through the [Loudermilk Center for Excellence] they just built for different student-athletes and it's pretty amazing. We saw the facilities and how easy they make it for you, so that's really what appealed to me."

Scouting Report: Ramirez will play outfield at North Carolina. The left-hander, who stole 11 bases last year, has the speed necessary to cover plenty of ground, but it takes more than speed to make a great outfielder.

"He's a true outfielder," Hummel said. "He's got pretty good instincts off the bat, he understands the game, where the ball needs to go, cut-off men and the right bases to throw to."

While the Tar Heels will benefit from Ramirez's play in the field, his ability at the plate is what stands out. Last year, Ramirez was 35-of-65 batting, good for a .538 average to go along with 23 RBI, nine doubles, three triples and five home runs.

Despite the huge numbers at the plate, Ramirez is not a free-swinging risk taker. He is patient and able to work pitchers deep into counts. He drew 26 walks last year compared to just five strikeouts. His patience and discipline led to an impressive .681 on-base percentage last season.

"I've always been a great hitter," Ramirez said confidently. "I've always loved to hit, so that's what I like to do."

Coach Quotes: "He contributes to the team in every aspect whether it be hitting, base running, defense or being a leader with his work ethic and things he does, but his biggest asset is how he swings the bat," Hummel said of Ramirez. "He's a left-handed hitter who has what I call ‘special at-bats.' Every time he goes up there even if he doesn't get a hit or get on base, he's going to make the pitcher work. He's going to be a threat to do some damage with the bat every time he goes up."

"Number one, the obvious answer is talent," Hummel continued. "The guy can swing the bat. He drives the ball to all fields, but I think it's his drive. He's going to put in the time. He's going to put in the mental time to understand the game. What's the right way to go about things, the right way to play the game and the best things he can do to be a good teammate and help the team."

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