Signee Profile: Jesse Wierzbicki

Signee Profile: Jesse Wierzbicki

North Carolina signee Jesse Wierzbicki is a 6-2 catcher from Newnan, Ga. who is transferring into UNC from Morristown (Tenn.) Walters State Community College.

Bio: Wierzbicki enrolled at Walters State after starting for four years at Newnan (Ga.) High School. He was drafted after his first season at Walters State by the Atlanta Braves in the 40th round of the 2008 draft. Wierzbicki batted .433 his freshman season at Walters State CC with 9 home runs, 33 runs batted in and 12 stolen bases. He then batted .373 his sophomore season with 12 home runs, 60 RBI and 8 stolen bases, while throwing out runners at a 42.8-percent clip.

Recruitment: "Out of high school I did not want to play Division I because I was not sure how I could improve my draft status, so I opted to go the JuCo route," Wierzbicki said. "Walters State does a really good job of finding you a place to play even after your sophomore year if you don't sign [with MLB]. They have a long history of getting players to good schools with good opportunities so I figured that was my best route to take. Coach Fox contacted me this summer and I guess heard about me through the chain of people and wanted me to come up on a visit during the fall. Around September I went up on a visit and I loved the place and pretty much committed right then." Wierzbicki signed with North Carolina over offers from South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Tennessee.

Why North Carolina?: "I think one of the biggest things is the team chemistry on the baseball team," Wierzbicki said. "I have played on a lot of very good baseball teams, but a lot of times that team chemistry was not there so we were unable to excel. That is kind of how it was for me at Walters State. There is no doubt that we had the players and the pitching to get to the JuCo World Series and win, but we just did not bond as a team. That is the one thing that stood out about North Carolina is how well their team bonded together - how everyone seemed to care of one another and there was not any sub-groups or cliques. It just seemed that just how everyone got along and was in it with the same goal to win the College World Series. That is the main thing that attracted me there.

"Playing time was a big decision - I did not want to go in there and get behind a senior catcher… I heard that Mark Fleury was pretty set to go in the draft and I have a little more experience than the freshman catchers in there right now and hope to go in there and get some quality starts and help out the baseball team."

Scouting Report: Wierzbicki is a well rounded prospect. He bats for average and power in addition to having speed on the bases. He also is a strong defensive catcher who controls the opposing teams' running game and is a vocal leader with a strong work ethic. Wierzbicki should contend for immediate playing time, providing valuable depth to the backstop position and adding a right handed bat to the lineup.

Coaches Quote: "I think he is a very solid all around catcher," said Walters State head coach David Shelton. "He is not one of those guys that will blow you away across the board with his tools or anything, but he is very good at everything. His is very good offensively and defensively. He is going to hit for a very solid average and puts the bat on the ball and does not swing and miss a whole lot. His biggest thing is his work ethic - he is an extremely hard worker - and I think he is someone who will continue to get better once he gets into the Tar Heel program."

Future Plans: "I really see him jumping right in and being very, very good," Shelton said. "He went undrafted this year, but the only reason is because of his signability. He pretty much demanded a lot more money than what he is going to get because he values his education and really wants to go to North Carolina. He is a guy who can really come over there next year and not only be a top guy at that level but be a premium draft pick next year."

Wierzbicki added: "My main goal is just to go out to Omaha and experience the College World Series and I would love to win a championship - that would be amazing and that is something I can not put in words. I would like to improve my draft status and work with the caliber of coaching and players in the ACC."

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