Future Diamond Heel: Spencer Trayner
(Cliff Welch/Baseball America)
(Cliff Welch/Baseball America)
Inside Carolina
Posted Aug 10, 2012


Inside Carolina profiles UNC’s 2013 baseball recruiting class. Today the spotlight is on Spencer Trayner.

For more on UNC baseball recruiting, visit Inside Carolina's Diamond Heels Forum.
Bio: Trayner is a 6-0, 165-pound pitcher and shortstop from Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit High School. He is ranked as the No. 12 prospect in Florida and the No. 81 player in the country by Perfect Game. Trayner plays for the FTB Mizuno travel squad.

Recruitment: North Carolina first contacted Trayner the summer in between his freshman and sophomore year. However, the Tar Heels were not alone in seeking Trayner’s services. South Florida, Central Florida as well as college baseball powerhouse LSU all offered Trayner a scholarship.

Florida is full of high school talent as well as tremendous college baseball programs, Florida State and Miami of the ACC among them. For North Carolina to come down and grab a commitment from one of the top players in the state says a lot about the determination of the Tar Heel coaching staff.

“You have to credit coach [Scott] Jackson,” Jesuit head coach Richie Warren said. “He’s worked hard to get into Florida, especially in our program where we’ve been fortunate enough to have quality players come out.”

Why Carolina? When asked what stood out about North Carolina, Trayner’s answer was short and simple: “They offered me two-way,” he said. “They said that I could pitch and play shortstop at their college level.”

The opportunity to help his college team in numerous ways was undoubtedly important for Trayner. However, his decision to attend North Carolina went beyond the baseball diamond as well. The balance between academics and athletics at North Carolina is not that different than his experience at Jesuit.

“A top-notch school like North Carolina, where it’s academically and athletically kind of with the mission of our school as well, it seems like it’s a good fit, especially with the coaches and the guys that do all the recruiting, which is [Scott] Forbes and Jackson,” Warren said.

Scouting Report: On the mound, Perfect Game clocked the right-handed Trayner at a high of 91 mph. He went 6-0 with a 0.69 ERA and struck out 39 batters in 30.1 innings for Jesuit last season. Trayner’s fastball is both impressive on the radar gun and tough for hitters to track.

“I have not only a pretty fast fastball, but it runs and moves a little bit and it’s not flat like a lot of peoples,” Trayner said.

Trayner’s fielding prowess is equally as impressive as his pitching ability. He covers a lot of ground and has the arm to throw out a runner from anywhere in the infield. Perfect Game clocked him at 95 mph across the diamond and although he projects as a shortstop, his arm strength is also ideal for third base. Trayner had a 0.921 fielding percentage in 2011.

At the plate, he is streaky and not destined to be a power hitter, but is patient and draws plenty of walks.

Coach Quotes:“To me, he’s one of the best defensive shortstops I’ve ever seen. I’ve been coaching for 10 years now at Jesuit. His hands are what separate him… He’s so athletic he can get to baseballs and then his arm strength allows him to make the play once he gets to the baseball. That kind of separates him. There might be another guy that has the same kind of arm strength, but can’t get to a baseball or there might be a guy that can get to the baseball, but can’t throw the guy out because he lacks the arm strength. When you combine those two, now you’re taking away those cheap hits, those balls in the hole that would’ve been a single, but now you’re working on an out. He gets on the mound and he’s 91 to 93, so he’s another two-way guy for us. It’ll be interesting to see how Coach Fox uses him up in Chapel Hill.”



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