Vance Honeycutt shines despite UNC’s season-ending loss

OMAHA, Neb. – Vance Honeycutt grew up a North Carolina fan, dreaming of playing for the Tar Heels baseball team. Over the last three years, he turned that dream into reality, culminating in leading the Tar Heels to their first College World Series appearance since 2018.

However, the ending wasn’t what Honeycutt had envisioned. The Tar Heels fell short of their ultimate aspirations, losing to Florida State, 9-5, in an elimination game on Tuesday afternoon at Charles Schwab Field.

“It’s been special,” said Honeycutt to Baseball Prospect Journal. “Every team doesn’t come together like this one did. What a ride. It’s been a pleasure to suit up with these guys every day and just go to battle with them. It’s something hard to appreciate right now, but it will be easier down the road.”

Honeycutt was North Carolina’s top offensive producer against Florida State. He went 3 for 5 with a single, double and home run to continue his productive three-week run through the NCAA Tournament.

Honeycutt laced a line-drive three-run home run to left field in the fifth inning. The home run came against a hanging slider from Florida State reliever Conner Whittaker and traveled 400 feet at a 112 mph exit velocity.

Honeycutt’s home run marked his sixth home run in nine tournament games. It also sparked the North Carolina offense, leading to a four-run inning to pull within two runs of the Seminoles.

“I wasn’t really focused on anything or the outcome or result,” Honeycutt said. I just wanted to have a good at-bat and get a good swing off on a good pitch.”

Vance Honeycutt
North Carolina outfielder Vance Honeycutt makes a catch during the team’s 9-5 loss against Florida State in the College World Series. Photo by Kyler Adams, Baseball Prospect Journal.

The Tar Heels’ offense failed to string another rally together over the final four innings. The Seminoles tacked on two runs on a pair of solo home runs in the eighth inning for insurance.

Tuesday’s game will likely be Honeycutt’s last at North Carolina. The junior outfielder is a high-end draft prospect who has only enhanced his status throughout the tournament.

Scouts project Honeycutt as a first-round pick with the potential to go in the first 15 picks of July’s MLB draft. He is a five-tool player known for his above-average power, athleticism and excellent defensive skills in center field.

Honeycutt posted a .318 batting average with 28 home runs and 70 RBIs in 255 at-bats this spring.

“From just his ability, I always use the word ‘electric,'” UNC coach Scott Forbes said. “That’s just what he is, he’s electric. I’m going to miss not just watching him play but I’m going to miss seeing him every single day. But, man, he’s something else, isn’t he? He was one of the best I’ve ever coached.”

Video of Vance Honeycutt hitting his three-run home run.

Read a detailed MLB draft profile on Vance Honeycutt and his development and skill set here.

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for nine years. He has interviewed 518 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today,, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III is the creator of the Baseball Prospect Journal and has covered the MLB draft since 2015. His draft work originally appeared on, a sports website he started in December 2011. He also covered the Milwaukee Brewers as a member of the credentialed media for four years. Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Articles