Homewood-Flossmoor’s Dillon Head tries to not assume an excessive amount of about this summer time’s MLB draft and the large determination he’ll doubtless need to make between signing or going to Clemson.
But because the senior outfielder continues to skyrocket up varied prospect rankings and sees himself talked about as a first-round choose, it’s laborious to not think about what the longer term might be.
“It’s definitely exciting,” Head mentioned. “From wanting on the TV once I was a child and dreaming I used to be an enormous leaguer, and now seeing me get nearer to reaching that dream. I’m not too caught up in it, although.
“Whether I go to college or to pro ball out of high school, I see myself getting there to the big leagues one day either way. I’m not too stressed about it.”
For now, Head — who’s ranked because the No. 1 participant in Illinois for the 2023 class by Prep Baseball Report — is targeted squarely on ending his highschool profession in model.
After hitting a whopping .467 final season and breaking program data with 57 hits and 35 stolen bases, Head is assured he’s even higher now.
“Even though it’s senior year, I feel the least amount of pressure this year,” Head mentioned. “I really feel like I’ve been capable of sluggish the sport down extra with all of the work I’ve put in.
“All the hard stuff was over the offseason. Now I can let loose and have fun.”
Head mentioned he’s now having extra enjoyable enjoying baseball than ever earlier than. Growing up, he typically loved himself extra on the soccer discipline.
But when he was a sophomore, the soccer season acquired moved to the spring due to the pandemic. Knowing baseball was his future, he made the robust alternative to surrender soccer for good.
“I really loved football — I’d probably say even more than baseball at one point,” Head mentioned. “When I finished enjoying and acquired to focus strictly on baseball, my love for baseball grew much more.
“I saw how much better I could get just focusing on baseball.”
Fellow senior Jason Ballard has spent many video games enjoying within the outfield with Head, getting an up-close view of the present Head can placed on.
“He does everything right on the field,” Ballard mentioned. “There’s simply nothing he can’t do. He’s superb to observe within the discipline. He’s all the time coming by in huge conditions on the plate.
“In the dugout, he’s always a team guy and he’s cheering everyone on whether he’s 3-for-3 or 0-for-3.”
That team-first angle feeds off on everybody else.
“He’s a tremendous leader,” H-F coach John McCarthy mentioned of Head. “He units the tone together with his hustle and angle on a day-by-day foundation. He’s a carefree, unfastened, hard-nosed participant.
“He’s kept everything team-focused. When you make it about the team, you put less pressure on yourself.”
Head, who was initially dedicated to Michigan, switched his pledge to Clemson after coach Erik Bakich left the Wolverines to turn into the Tigers’ coach.
The final a number of months have been a whirlwind for Head. In addition to the change in school plans, he has traveled all around the nation collaborating in varied All-Star video games and MLB-sponsored occasions.
Highlights included video games at Dodger Stadium and Chase Field, the house of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Those are locations Head plans to return to sometime.
“I love the experience of being on the field, touching the dirt and the grass and telling myself that I’m going to be back there one day in a big league jersey,” he mentioned. “It’s definitely motivating and inspiring.”
Steve Millar is a contract reporter for the Daily Southtown.