Future Diamond Heel: Wood Myers

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

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Bio: Myers is a 5-foot-10, 175-pound middle infielder for Durham (N.C.) Jordan High School. He is ranked the No. 7 player in North Carolina and the No. 304 player in the class of 2013 by Perfect Game. Myers plays for the Dirtbags travel squad during the summer and fall.

Recruitment: Growing up not far from North Carolina's campus, Myers was always aware of the Tar Heel baseball program. He attended games starting at a young age and has known head coach Mike Fox for years. Once Myers joined the Jordan varsity team his freshman year he received an invite to come and play in front of the North Carolina staff.

"My freshman year I attended a UNC baseball camp over the summer and that's when it really started," Myers said. "I did pretty well there. I've always gone to UNC camps, so I've known Coach Fox since I was really young and so I did pretty well at one of them and after my freshman year, the summer before my sophomore year, is when I committed."

Myers's early commitment to North Carolina did not allow other schools the opportunity to pursue him. According to Myers, North Carolina was his only offer and the only school that heavily recruited him.

Why Carolina? North Carolina was always the goal for Myers. Living so close to Boshamer Stadium not only gave him an opportunity to get to know the program at an early age, but it also made him a fan. Attending games as a child solidified Myers's belief that North Carolina was the place for him. He could not envision himself playing baseball anywhere else and is excited to play for his childhood team on the biggest stage in college baseball.

"I live three miles away, so I've always gone to games," Myers said. "I've always been around. They go to the College World Series very often so that's something I really look forward to."

It is always exciting for a program and coaching staff to have an elite prospect in their own backyard. However, the coaches still must convince the player that staying close to home is the right thing to do. Fox and his staff made sure to get to know Myers at an early age and from there the local product was willing to do anything and everything in order to earn an opportunity to play for North Carolina.

"I think from the very beginning he's certainly been attracted to Carolina," Jordan head coach Devy Bell said. "As long as I can remember. His brother played [at Jordan] so I've known the family for quite some time, but it was, according to him, never anywhere else except for North Carolina. He got the chance to talk to Coach Fox quite a few years back and talking about the possibilities of him coming there it was an immediate ‘yeah whatever I got to do.' He's always been a diehard Heel and that's where he's always wanted to play."

Scouting Report:Fox likes to recruit players that offer defensive versatility as well as the ability to manufacture runs on the base paths. Myers fits both of those descriptions. While he is listed as a middle infielder, the right-hander can play almost any position. Perfect Game clocked his throw across the diamond at 85 mph.

"I think that what they've been able to see is his ability to adapt to being moved to second, being moved to short," Bell mentioned. "When he started with us he was at second base, but he's been moved to short and he's handled it very well. He can play third if he wanted to play third, but he also can run in the outfield. I think those are things that Coach Fox looks at."

Myers has the ability to play in the outfield because of his speed. He was clocked at 6.64 seconds in the 60-yard dash by Perfect Game earlier this summer. Most scouts consider anything less than 6.70 seconds to be above average speed. Myers used that quickness to steal 15 bases in his junior season.

At the plate Myers is a scrappy left-handed hitter who hit .395 with 11 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 26 RBI in his junior year. Not only was he named to the All-State team, but Myers was unanimously selected as conference player of the year by the coaches in the league. Bell cannot recall another player earning the honor unanimously in his 27 years of coaching.

Despite the tremendous accolades and solid numbers at the plate, Myers struggled at times against the breaking ball. Over the summer, Myers worked with a hitting coach from the Milwaukee Brewers organization in order to improve against off-speed pitches. They focused on maintaining his balance and eliminating extra movement with his head.

"…It was a world of difference," Bell exclaimed. "Some situations like that you don't see kids that are able to correct [their mistakes], but he did a good job with it. A very good job with it."

It is hard to pinpoint where Fox and his staff will play specific recruits. Often times the position they play in high school is completely different than where they jog out to for the first time on Bryson Field. With Myers, the options are certainly not limited.

"I can play anywhere," Myers said. They said they might use me in the outfield or they might use me wherever. As long as I get the chance to come to Carolina, I'll play anywhere."

Coach Quotes:"He's certainly loves the game," Bell said. "He's got a lot of passion for the game and I think he wants to play the game just because he likes to play it not because he feels like he's looking to get something from it. I just feel like he really likes the game."

"The thing that I think sets him apart is he's certainly well rounded," Bell continued. "He plays any of the infield positions and plays them well. The other thing is he's fast. He's very fast, so base running from first to third he's as good as anybody, steals bases well, knows how to read the pitchers, so he has good quickness. He certainly has good savvy defensively. He can play the outfield if he wanted to play the outfield because he can run and because he does have baseball savvy. Thirdly, he's a good hitter. A very good hitter."

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