WILMINGTON– UNCW Head Coach Mark Scalf announced the signing of 11 student-athletes who will play for the Seahawks beginning in 2017-18 and one of those commits includes highly touted junior college prospect Kep Brown.
“We feel like we added some really high quality student-athletes in all areas of the diamond with this early signing class,” said Scalf, who enters his 26th season as head of the program. “Speed and athleticism are covered with all of our position-player signees and the pitchers feature projectable, power arms with plus off-speed stuff.
“We’re extremely excited about this group of quality young men. We’ll continue to search and add a few more pieces to the puzzle as the year progresses and we get into the spring.”
The pipeline from Spartanburg Methodist has been a hot bed for the Diamond Hawk program as of late with shortstop Kennard McDowell transferring to UNC-Wilmington a few years back, with local product Mason Berne joining Scalf’s club moving into the spring of 2017.
Brown, who originally signed to play for the University of Miami as a standout at Wando High School in South Carolina, landed at Spartanburg Methodist after injuring his achilles tendon. He was widely considered a first or second round draft pick moving into the 2015 draft, but slid to a 10th round selection by the St. Louis Cardinals. He spent one semester in Coral Gables, Florida for the Hurricanes before transferring to Spartanburg Methodist.
A shoulder injury sidelined Brown once again for majority of his freshman season for the Pioneers, but his return was worth the wait as he hit .279 with 11 home runs and 40 runs batted in his first-year playing college baseball. In January, Brown was ranked the fifth best junior college prospect by Perfect Game.
“Kep is one of top junior college players in the country,” said Scalf. “He’s a five-tool player with great potential. He’s had a few setbacks because of injuries, but we feel he can come in here, work, get better, flourish, and accomplish all of his future goals.”
Moving into his sophomore year at Spartanburg, Brown will be eligible for the 2016 MLB draft after finishing his spring season at Spartanburg Methodist, but says he has a “strong commitment to the Seahawks.”
Brown reportedly turned down an offer from Clemson to sign with UNCW. The Seahawks were recently recognized as the top recruiter among programs in the Colonial Athletic Association, according to D1Baseball.com. Longtime Associate Head Coach Randy Hood leads the scouting effort for Scalf on campus.