Bio: Wynn is a 6-foot-2, 175-pound right-handed pitcher for New Bern (N.C.) High School. Perfect Game ranks the senior among the top-500 prospects in the class of 2013 as well as the No. 20 prospect in North Carolina. Wynn plays for the Dirtbags travel team during the summer and fall.
Recruitment: North Carolina first saw Wynn pitch at a tournament held at N.C. State the summer following his sophomore season. Tar Heel pitching coach Scott Jackson liked what he saw from Wynn and that started a line of communication between the pitcher and the Tar Heels. Both sides remained in constant contact for several months.
In addition to North Carolina, Wynn was heavily recruited by Virginia as well as nearby East Carolina. However, the consistent discussions with the Tar Heel staff proved meaningful and Wynn committed soon after he was initially contacted by North Carolina.
“I just kept in contact with them and I really liked how there was great communication with them during that time frame and a couple months later I ended up committing,” Wynn said.
Why Carolina? “UNC just felt like home for me,” Wynn said. “I’d gone to some camps when I was younger and I just loved everything about it. It’s a great place to get a degree.”
On the field, North Carolina offered the New Bern, N.C. product the chance to focus on pitching. Wynn is also a highly regarded third baseman and hitter, but he wants to hone his craft on the mound. Coach Jackson and company see the potential and were happy to offer Wynn the chance to work with some of the top collegiate pitching coaches as well as one of the best pitching staffs in the country at North Carolina.
“I was talking with all the coaches up there and they really like me as a pitcher,” Wynn explained. “That’s what I am trying to focus on right now and get away from third base a little bit.”
Scouting Report: What separates Wynn from the competition is his ability to throw three pitches for strikes. He does not necessarily overpower batters, but his ability to throw the ball over the plate allows for quick innings and keeps his teammates in the field on their toes.
“I just like to throw strikes really,” Wynn said. “Stay in the zone and try and get them to hit it and let the defense work behind me and keep everybody in the game.”
Wynn prefers to throw a two-seam fastball, a slider as well as a change-up. His fastball was clocked at 88 miles per hour in June by Perfect Game. While his slider is traditionally his out pitch, Wynn has also developed his change-up to the point where it is just as effective of a weapon.
Last spring, Wynn was limited to just three innings on the mound due to an impingement in his shoulder. He did not surrender a hit, walk or run and struck out four batters in those three innings. Wynn says he is now back to pitching regularly.
Even though he expects to focus on pitching at North Carolina, Wynn was also a top performer at the designated hitter position last year while recovering from the shoulder injury. He hit .394 with eight doubles, one triple and 10 RBI. Wynn also managed to steal seven bases without getting thrown out and had a .462 on-base percentage.
Coaches Quotes: “I know the whole recruiting process was done as a pitcher and I know they haven’t expressed any interest to me in him being a position player,” New Bern head coach Gary Smith said. “That being said, he’s been an all-area performer as a DH and a kid that swings the bat as well as he has I think it’s at least worth a look. I just don’t know if they’ve seen him in that capacity.”
“His go-to pitch will be a two-seam fastball that he’s able to throw on the inside part of the plate,” Smith continued. “He complements that with a slider that many times becomes a chase pitch. It gives the appearance of being a strike and by the time the ball is caught it’s off the plate and that’s kind of where he’s been the last couple of years. I’m not sure now that his changeup hasn’t become more of a go-to pitch than his slider.”