Chris McCue is 6-0, 160-pound right handed pitcher from Charlotte (N.C.) Ardrey Kell. McCue helped propel Ardrey Kell HS to the 4A state championship last season and is ranked No. 135 in the nation by Perfect Game in the 2011 class and No. 11 in the state of North Carolina. Impact Baseball has McCue as the No. 17-ranked prospect in the state of North Carolina. Under Armour has honored him as a preseason All American. McCue played for the On Deck O's for three years then competed with the South Charlotte Panthers for the 2010 World Wood Bat tournament in Jupiter, Fla. McCue is also an excellent student in the classroom and a member of the National Honor Society.
"Well it all started out a year ago," McCue recalled. "I was coming in on relief against a really, really good team and a bunch of scouts were watching the other team and did not really know anything about our team. I pitched really well and everything after that picked up. (UNC) watched me in Jupiter last year and I kept making strides. It was before the Area Code Games last year; Coach Jackson was scouting me at that tournament.
"They were probably the most organized and on top of things as compared to other schools, always e-mailing me or calling me back whenever I called them - they are extremely organized much like my high school coach," stated McCue about his recruitment by the Diamond Heels. "Coach Bagwell is very organized just like UNC is so that helped my decision out. The UNC coaching staff is very educated as far as baseball goes and Coach Fox - any baseball player knows who Coach Fox is and they know he is a great coach who has gone to the College World Series so many times."
McCue committed to North Carolina over interest from Virginia, Georgia, Wake Forest, Duke, Boston College and NC State.
"I have always been a Carolina fan since I was ten years old when I moved here from Massachusetts," McCue said. "It is a great school and a great baseball school. It not too far away with a great education and a great school and the baseball is phenomenal. Academics was probably number one - academics always come first in my eyes. If you get hurt your education is all you have to fall back on and UNC is one of the top universities in the country and I am looking forward to getting a great education while playing baseball."
Chris McCue has the ability to throw his heater in the mid 90s - clocked as high as 94 miles per hour at the World Wood Bat Championship - while being able to mix in an effective curveball and changeup at any point in the count and throw them for strikes and keep batters honest. Scouts raved about his sinking action on his fastball at the Area Code Games, with his potential to dial up the speed as he physically develops in addition to refining his mechanics on off speed pitches.
McCue has focused on pitching exclusively the past year and has been working with noted pitching instructor Jake Robbins in Charlotte to improve his repertoire. McCue said he is developing a cut fastball.
"Chris McCue is an outstanding young man, number one," Ardrey Kell head coach Hal Bagwell said. "He has a lot of upside from a makeup standpoint. He has a power arm and is obviously a fast twitch athlete as he is not a really big guy, probably 160 pounds soaking wet, but he generates unbelievable arm speed and velocity obviously. But as far as his secondary stuff it has improved dramatically in the past year. He has a really good breaking ball and his changeup was his best pitch early in his high school career. He is a strikeout pitcher and is not afraid and has three pitches that he can throw for strikes and shows poise on the mound. He is a credit to Ardrey Kell High School and what we do and he is a great student as well."
"Chris is an outstanding young man," South Charlotte Panthers head coach Don Hutchins added. "Pound for pound he throws as hard as any kid that I have ever had. He is a plus-90s kid and very competitive and wants the ball every day and in every big game. Down in Jupiter he threw against a Houston [Heat] team with seven or eight Division1 signees... they were a big time team. Probably one of the most impressive things though was that we made it to the championship round and he wanted the ball again. He wanted to run the bases or do anything to help us. He has that kind of fire as a competitor and is a team player. He has a God-given arm with a lot of fire in it and is a great kid and will be a great teammate and help out pretty early in his career."
As one of the top 150 high school prospects in the 2011 draft, Major League Baseball teams may be wary of signability concerns. "It would have to be outstanding, the ball club has to be outstanding and the offer after the draft - UNC is like a dream for me to come true," McCue stated about what it would take for a pro team to divert him from his path to Chapel Hill. "The place is amazing and it would have to be some kind of unbelievable situation."
McCue already is looking forward to getting on campus and getting to work. "My freshman year I want to get as much time as possible and there will be a lot of guys that I will have to compete against but I trust myself and I think that there is definitely a chance for me to get some playing time," he said. "So I am going to work my butt off and see how much time I can get."
Much like most of the signees for the Tar Heels, McCue has a target for where he wants his seasons to end - Omaha. "For our team I want to win the College World Series," he elaborated. "I know that we can do it - the talent is there obviously and I want to have an impact on that. I want to leave a huge impact on UNC during my career. I want people to look to me as a leader and I want to be the player in the pressure situation where you have to win a game to go on and I want to be the player on the mound competing to get to the next round."