The Melville family is originally from the Chesapeake area in Virginia, moving to Missouri before Tim began high school. Melville believes that growing up in the heart of ACC country with such close proximity to Chapel Hill undoubtedly had an impact on how he formed his college sports allegiance.
"I grew up watching them in basketball and felt like I was always a part of that," Melville said. "I've always liked Carolina in any sport actually. I also love the coaches, Coach Fox and Coach Holbrook and just anybody there. They've always been so nice to me and it seems like I would just fit right in with the whole program and the whole school."
Melville's work ethic, in his high school coach's mind, is the distinguishing characteristic that separates him from the rest. Holt head coach Joel Adam admitted, "I've never seen anyone work that hard. When he walks onto the field he is very, very focused and I think that's really helped us as a team over the last few years, seeing a kid that's that high caliber willing to work that hard on a daily basis."
He certainly has the talent and skills to reach that mark. Melville is ranked by Perfect Game as the No. 3 overall prospect in the nation. At the Aflac-All-American Game he was given the Jackie Robinson award for the National Player of the Year. In his junior campaign, he totaled a 10-1 record from the mound with 117 strikeouts in just 63 innings, a perfect game, and a no-hitter. His statistics from the plate were equally as impressive. He hit .443 with 1 home run, 13 doubles, 30 RBI's, 28 runs scored, and 17 walks. When he wasn't on the mound, he played shortstop and third base.
With these exceptional two-way numbers, one would naturally assume Melville could have the opportunity to show his skills from both the mound and the plate at the college level. Although mainly recruited as a pitcher, he admits there has been some communication between him and the coaching staff about the possibility of him playing in the field and swinging the bat in addition to his regular duties on the mound.
"Playing two-way, we've talked about that," he said. "They said it would take a lot of hard work playing two positions and trying to stay focused with both of them."
Regarding his prize recruit from Missouri, UNC head coach Mike Fox said, "He is very versatile and athletic. We think he will be an outstanding hitter and pitcher."
Although naturally blessed with elite level talent, Melville believes his work ethic and approach to the game is what makes him stand out above the rest. "I play hard and I like to go hard at everything," Melville said. "I'm usually a little dirtier than everyone else at the end of a game."
Coach Fox agrees: "Outside of his talent we love his toughness, his love of the game and his passion about being a Tar Heel."
Melville's response, when asked what he wanted to achieve at UNC, was a reflection of nearly every other future Tar Heel: "Going back to the National Championship and winning us a championship," he said. "That and to just have fun with everybody."
Of course, Melville making it to Chapel Hill isn't a sure thing, with the looming MLB Draft in June and the consensus among experts is that he'll be a first round pick. But that's a decision to be made when the time comes. For now, Melville's focus is his senior season and preparing for college.
"I'm going to work hard like I've always done, training to prepare," he said. "Also I'm going to see what my competition is doing, I kind of like to watch what they do and try to beat them out, always trying to be No. 1."
|Seth Baldwin||OF||Forest City (N.C.) East Rutherford|
|Derrik Gibson||SS/OF||Seaford (Del.) High|
|Matt Harrison||SS||Henderson (Nev.) Green Valley|
|L.J. Hoes||OF||Washington (D.C.) St. John|
|Jason Knapp||RHP||Annandale (N.J.) North Hunterdon|
|Garrison Lassiter||SS||Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth|
|Tim Melville||RHP/3B||Wentzville (Mo.) Holt|
|Jimmy Messer||RHP||Hudson (N.C.) South Caldwell|
|Quinton Miller||RHP||Medford (N.J.) Shawnee|
|Jacob Stallings||C||Nashville (Tenn.) Brentwood|
|Jeff May||C||Creedmoor (N.C.) South Granville|
|Brian Goodwin||OF||Rocky Mount (N.C.) High|
|Levi Michael||MIF||Lexington (N.C.) North Davidson|
|Chris Munnelly||RHP||Lewisville (N.C.) Forsyth Country Day|