Signee Profile: Brian Holberton

Inside Carolina profiles UNC's 2010 baseball recruiting class. Today the spotlight is on Brian Holberton, a catcher from Charlotte (N.C.) Myers Park.

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Bio: Holberton was honored this offseason as the Greater Charlotte Hot Stove League Player of the Year. Impact Baseball has Holberton listed as the No. 10 prospect in North Carolina in the 2010 class and Perfect Game has him ranked at No. 465 nationally. Holberton also earned honors as a three-time All-Southwestern 4A selection and well as All-Charlotte Observer honors in 2008 and 2009. He also was honored as his high school team MVP as well as the Conference Tournament MVP in 2009.

Stats: During his junior campaign Holberton batted .463 in 80 at bats, with 14 runs, 37 hits, 15 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, 30 RBI, plus a .750 slugging percentage, .541 OBP, while going 4-4 in stolen base attempts. In the field Hoberton had a .995 fielding percentage, with no passed balls, while picking off 5 baserunners, and throwing out 10-19 (53%) stolen base attempts.

Recruitment: "I play for the South Charlotte Panthers (in the summer) and my head coach Don Hutchins did a great job of getting my name out there," Holberton said. "I think I went up to visited (UNC) my sophomore year. I went to Jupiter with our older team and Coach Jackson and Forbes were down there. Then they both came down to Fort Myers when my age team played and I started talking with them from my sophomore year going into my junior year. By my junior year I had visited there a couple of times."

Holberton signed with North Carolina over offers from South Carolina, Charlotte and interest from Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Western Carolina and Davidson.

Why North Carolina?: "I have always had a thing about loving North Carolina," Holberton said. "I love the way Coach Hutchins emphasized doing the right things - getting your schoolwork done and having good character and doing the right things - and I feel that Coach Fox emphasized all those things; that you have to have good character and be a good person just as much as a good baseball player. I felt that I fit right in.

"The top reason that I signed with North Carolina is the success that they have had over the past getting closer and closer to winning a College World Series title. Coach Jackson always called me and whenever I saw him he had a great relationship with my parents. He would come up and could talk to them and was always e-mailing me back and forth and could call him whenever I needed him. He was always there so any questions I had I could always talk with him and that is something I really like."

Scouting Report: The 5-10, 180-pound catcher has a 1.93 pop time with a quick release behind the plate, frames pitches well and has a strong arm to help control the opposing team on the bases. Holberton is an excellent defensive catcher.

He has an athletic build and has the frame to be able to put on muscle getting into an advanced strength and conditioning program as he matures. He has a balanced, quick, smooth, line drive contact swing with raw power potential and excellent hitting potential at the next level.

In the outfield Holberton moves to the ball well and has a strong arm. He has the capacity of playing in college at second, third or in the corner outfield positions according to his coach.

Coaches Quotes: "He is an exceptionally strong hitter - a left handed bat of course," stated South Charlotte head coach Don Hutchins. "I have known him since he was eight years old. He played in a rec league that I am involved in. He has been a driven baseball player since his earliest days. He is an exceptional left handed bat, has a lot of power, has a great eye and strikes out very seldom. As he has matured and gotten stronger he has gotten a lot more power. He drives the ball hard to all fields and is going to hit good pitching as well as bad pitching."

Holberton started off his baseball career much like other talented players do - playing all over the diamond. "As he grew up he got behind the plate because he wanted to be in the action all the time and has developed himself into a well above average D1 catcher," elaborated Hutchins. "You put him back there and he will get the job done. He is not flashy but steady. He played for me for three years in travel ball and I was out looking at the numbers hard and he threw out 70 percent of baserunners and probably averaged two passed balls for 200 innings caught."

(Holberton's high school coach John Spencer at Myers Park was unavailable for an interview but contributed to this profile.)

Future Plans: Holberton has his heart set on attending the University of North Carolina. He detailed what it would take to get him to pass up the opportunity at UNC and get him to sign with a Major League team after the 2010 draft. "It would have to be an awful lot - there is a lot that it would take to get me to pass up going to a school like North Carolina and the education that I would get there," he said. "It would have to be being drafted in the first round."

Holberton has his own plan on how to start his career under the tutelage of Coach Fox and his coaching staff. "I want to go up there and I just want to try to start and be the best hitter I can be and focus on just being the best student and be the best athlete and be in the best shape I can be in to give myself a chance to do the best I can," he said. "My goal is to win a National Championship."

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