FLOSSMOOR, Ill. (BVM) – Dillon Head is undoubtedly one of the brightest high school baseball prospects in the entire country. The Homewood-Flossmoor senior was an all-state selection last season as he set program single-season records for both hits and stolen bases.
The Vikings have produced three big league pitchers (John Ely, Eric Hillman and Larry Rothschild) but Head is the best position prospect in Homewood-Flossmoor history. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound outfielder is the No. 40 prospect for July’s 2023 MLB Draft mainly because of his elite speed and athleticism.
In fact, it’s Head’s speed that caught the eye of a former NLCS MVP and World Series champion. Howie Kendrick played for four MLB teams from 2006-2020, becoming an All-Star with the Los Angeles Angels in 2011 and winning a World Series with the Washington Nationals in 2019.
“Really good player, a lot of speed,” Kendrick said of Head at the 2023 MLB DREAM Series in January. “He can play the game and I like the way he goes about it. He’s a hard worker.”
However, if you ask Homewood-Flossmoor head coach John McCarthy, Head is much more than just an athlete with speed.
“With Dillon, everybody wants to say he’s an athlete but he’s not an athlete, he’s a smart, smart, smart baseball player and a very instinctual baseball player,” McCarthy said of Head. “His athleticism and speed are one thing but for me, it’s his elite hand-eye coordination and his baseball instincts.”
Speed is a common trait associated with Head and for good reason.
He stole a school-record 33 bases as a junior and has an excellent running grade (70, on a 20-80 scale) that makes an impact in all facets of the game. It’s part of the reason he was able to hit .467 with six home runs and 28 RBIs last season as a Prep Baseball Report first-team all-state pick.
While Head’s offense attracts much of the attention, it’s his play in the outfield that could vault him into the first round of July’s MLB draft. The 18-year-old boasts a plus fielding grade (60) and uses it to get to balls that most people can’t.
“I’m always putting the ball in play and giving us a chance to score runs and get on base,” Head said. “Then with my elite range in the outfield, I don’t feel like there’s many people in the country who can cover as much ground as I can cover and get to certain balls.”
Dillon Head of Homewood Flossmoor HS checks in at #9 in the country. 6.22 Sixty at national for OF. Athletic build w/ room to fil in. The @ClemsonBaseball commit has tools to impact the game in all facets of the game.#MLBDraft@PG_Scouting @B_sakowski_pg @VCervinoPG pic.twitter.com/p3pQEVTiLb
— Perfect Game California (@California_PG) January 3, 2023
Head was introduced to baseball at 4 years old by his father and a love for the sport blossomed soon after. By the summer before his freshman year, Head was playing in the PBR Future Games and began receiving calls from college coaches.
One of the college programs Head, along with his father, grew an affinity for was Michigan. Those feelings were strengthened when the Wolverines went on a run during the 2019 College World Series (their first appearance since 1984) and finished as the tournament’s runner-up.
Head committed to the Wolverines and head coach Erik Bakich, but last summer, Bakich signed a six-year, $6.25 million deal to become the head coach of the Clemson Tigers. Less than a month later, Head flipped his commitment from Michigan to Bakich and Clemson.
— Dillon Head (@DillonHead4) July 11, 2022
“I’ve been a big Michigan fan growing up and I know when they made that run in 2019 to the College World Series, I remember how my dad and I really liked the coaching staff and how they coached their players,” Head said. “Then when Bakich went from Michigan to Clemson, I thought of it as an even better opportunity.
“It’s ACC baseball, better weather, better fanbase, all those types of things. It wasn’t really a hard decision flipping from Michigan to Clemson.”
Head still has one final high school baseball season to play before beginning his MLB career or heading to Clemson. While the future is unknown in that regard, one thing for certain is that Head will graduate from Homewood-Flossmoor as one of the best baseball players the school has ever seen.
“He’s one of the all-time greats that will come out of HF,” McCarthy said of Head. “He was an all-state player last year, had one of the best seasons in HF history and there’s been a lot of great players that we’ve coached here. But he’s definitely in that small class of guys who have separated themselves as one of the best in school history.”
For Head, he isn’t trying to just be among the best in HF history. He’s already the best high school baseball player in the state of Illinois, one of the best outfielders in the country and among the top 40 prospects for the 2023 MLB Draft.
The latter is something Head tries not to spend too much time thinking about. With a “let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may” approach to the next step in his baseball career, Head is more focused on day-to-day improvements.
More importantly, he’s eager to show that there’s more to his game than just elite speed.
“I just want to prove how much I’ve developed as a hitter and prove that side of my game,” Head said. “Everybody knows I can run and play defense, so I really want to just show improvement on my five tools, have fun and try to win a state championship.”
Walk off bomb #5💣 pic.twitter.com/9Vvo6feaKT
— Dillon Head (@DillonHead4) May 7, 2022