Bio: Chacon is a 6-0, 195-pound catcher from Tampa, Fla. He is ranked No. 19 in Florida and No. 102 in the nation by Perfect Game in the class of 2013. Chacon plays for Jesuit High School as well as the FTB Mizuno travel squad with fellow North Carolina commitment Spencer Trayner.
Recruitment: North Carolina became aware of Chacon in the summer of 2010, which is when the Tar Heel coaching staff first contacted Trayner. However, it was not until late last summer when Chacon himself heard from North Carolina.
“I knew [Scott] Jackson was following Spencer and I remember seeing them at the school and that was the first time I ever really saw them actually kind of watching us,” Chacon recalled. “Then I actually spoke personally with Jackson a few months later. I think it was August when I first really started getting interested and stuff with them and then I committed shortly after.”
Despite being contacted by North Carolina after his teammate, Chacon was by no means lightly recruited. The catcher, who also plays third base and pitches, received scholarship offers from Florida, Florida State, Miami, UCF and Stanford.
Why Carolina? Whenever you move far away from home for college, it is nice to have a familiar face nearby. Such will be the case for Chacon as he and Trayner head to Chapel Hill together next fall. In fact, if it was not for his teammate, Chacon may never have considered North Carolina.
“Having a guy up there that I know definitely was an influence,” said Chacon. “It definitely got me to look over there.”
Of course, the catcher could not merely take Trayner’s word for it. In order to ensure North Carolina was the idealspot for him, he had to check out Chapel Hill and the campus for himself.
“I really wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to get those looks from UNC,” Chacon said. “But having gone up there and seeing the whole area and atmosphere and stuff, it was just a beautiful place and I could definitely see myself going there and that’s why I chose there.”
Scouting Report: The right-handed catcher is a weapon behind the plate. Perfect Game clocked Chacon’s throw down to second at 85 mph in 1.82 seconds. Many scouts consider anything in the 1.80 – 1.90-second range to be major league quality. Chacon’s arm allows him to hold runners in check and prevent them from advancing. With the new bats in college baseball, a catcher that can influence the running game is invaluable.
On the mound, Chacon’s fastball was registered at 90 mph by Perfect Game. A sinker is his primary out pitch. While he was recruited by North Carolina as a catcher, Chacon can provide innings if the Tar Heels require an extra arm.
Offensively, Chacon is a smart hitter who spreads the ball to all fields and has decent power. He struck out just seven times and hit .347 with 24 RBI last fall for Jesuit. One-third of his hits went for extra bases, including four home runs. Chacon’s hitting skills to go along with his quick release and strong arm behind the plate make him an elite catching prospect.
Coach Quotes: “He’s your ultimate utility guy.” Jesuit head coach Richie Warren said. “…Defensively, he’s really good behind the plate. That’s what he was recruited as – as a catcher. He’s probably one of the better defensive catchers in the country, but he also is 88 to 91 [mph] with an unbelievable sinker on the mound, so it’s going to be kind of how their coaching staff wants to use him in terms of innings on the mound versus behind the plate and taking care of his body. I think he’s going up to Chapel Hill as a catcher and maybe hopefully throw a couple innings for them as well.”
“His work ethic is unbelievable,” Warren added. “He never takes a day off. He’s always hitting, fielding ground balls, always throwing, always doing something to get better. He’s always in the gym. I don’t know how he does it, how he keeps up his grades, his social life and everything else, being a teammate here, because there is so much work he puts in on the diamond and in the weight room on a daily basis. Whenever players are going to movies with their girlfriends, he’s one that is getting that last workout in the gym. I don’t know where he finds time to enjoy himself with how much time he devotes to getting better at the game of baseball.”