College baseball: Honeycutt ACC Defensive Player of the Year

Published 12:16 am Tuesday, May 23, 2023

UNC Sports Information

CHAPEL HILL –  UNC sophomore center fielder Vance Honeycutt was named the 2023 ACC Defensive Player of the Year as voted on by the league’s head coaches. He is the first Tar Heel to win the award since it was established in 2017.

A shortstop in his days at Salisbury High, Honeycutt has started all 114 games of his collegiate career in center field, including 50 this season. He has made 141 putouts this year, including a variety of spectacular catches that earned him multiple appearances on ESPN Sports Center’s Top Plays.

Honeycutt was one of four Tar Heels to earn All-ACC honors this season. Juniors Mac Horvath and Jackson Van De Brake were named second-team all-conference, Honeycutt was selected third-team for the second consecutive season and Casey Cook was voted onto the all-freshman team.

Horvath ranks among the ACC’s league leaders in stolen bases (2nd), home runs (3rd), runs (3rd), total bases (4th), RBIs (5th) and slugging percentage (6th). Horvath became the second player in school history to amass 20 home runs (21) and 20 stolen bases (22) in the same year and the first to record 20 home runs, 20 steals and 20 doubles in a single season. He is the first 20-20-20 ACC player this century.

Van De Brake ranked first among ACC second basemen in hits (63), doubles (13), walks (35) and runs (45). He batted .325 and hit eight home runs during the regular season after transferring from Tacoma (Wash.) Community College. Van De Brake started 51 of 52 games played.

Honeycutt ranked third in the league in base on balls (49) and fourth in stolen bases (19). He finished second on the team in home runs (12), runs (51) and steals behind Horvath.

Cook rounds out the list of Tar Heel selections as a member of the all-freshman team. He ranked second among all ACC rookies in hits (66) and walks (34) and fourth in batting (.333). He hit .393 during ACC play, the third-highest average in the conference, with a .481 on-base percentage. Cook enters the ACC Baseball Championship with a 43-game on-base streak.

North Carolina opens the ACC Baseball Championship Tuesday, May 23, against Georgia Tech. The game is scheduled for approximately 3 p.m. at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.