Windermere baseball’s Ty Head is the best in a family of D-I athletes

The senior is about to achieve something none of the other D-I athletes in his family have; get drafted to play professional sports.

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There are a lot of negatives to being the youngest sibling, but there is one undeniable positive about it: You get an up close, personal view of your big brother or sister going through life’s stages before you have to do the same. 

For Windermere High senior baseball player Ty Head, having the opportunity to see both his brother, Bobby Head, and sister, Taylor Head, dominate high school athletics and go on to become Division I college athletes was priceless.

And it’s also helped put him in a position either to play ball at NC State next season or begin his MLB journey. He is currently projected to be a high selection in the 2024 MLB Draft in July. 

Regardless of his next step, the youngest of the Head clan has taken advantage of the experience and developed into a dog on the baseball diamond. 

“Ty’s a phenomenal player, but what separates his story and is how we, as a family, have played a part in his journey,” said Bob Head, Ty’s father. “His sister’s an All-American volleyball player, his brother’s an all-conference player, and they’ve kind of paved the way for him. Credit to Ty though: He has grasped the opportunity and run with it and has begun to pave his own path.”

Ty Head agrees.

“Having two siblings who are big-time athletes has been really beneficial to me,” Ty Head said. “Growing up in an environment of competition helped me through my years to mature and really want to compete every single day. … Because I am the youngest, being around them benefited my game by helping to make me smarter.”

Five for five

It wasn’t just Ty Head’s siblings who helped develop him into the player he is today, it was his parents who started the streak of college athletes in the family of five. 

Bob and Michelle Head both played their college sports at Eastern Kentucky University — Bob Head was a member of the football team, while Michelle Head played basketball — and both went on to become coaches, with Michelle Head currently serving as coach of West Orange High’s girls golf, girls weightlifting and girls beach volleyball teams. 

“For Michelle and (me), being athletes our whole lives and taking up coaching after that, athletics has been our entire life,” Bob Head said. “So, when it came to our kids, all we wanted for them was to play and compete, and that’s all they wanted to do growing up. … We’re all just so competitive, and the kids knew (one another) so well that they could really help make (one another) better.”

The oldest Head child, Bobby, was a star on the diamond for West Orange and went on to play college baseball at Austin Peay University and Florida Gulf Coast. 

Taylor Head, the lone daughter in the family of five and the middle child, was a top volleyball player for West Orange and then Windermere High. She went on to play four seasons at Arkansas and transferred earlier this year for a fifth season at Florida State. 

College or Pros?

Ty Head, the youngest of the family, is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound outfielder for the Wolverines. He currently is committed to play his college baseball for the Wolfpack but also is projected to be selected in the early portion of the 2024 MLB Draft in July.

That means he will have a big decision to make this summer: College baseball in Raleigh or start his professional journey in Minor League Baseball?

As a prospect, the lefty is the best in the West Orange and Southwest Orange for the current senior class. He received the highest available prospect grade of 10 from Perfect Game. 

“Ty’s a really good leader for us and is an elite outfielder in the center of the park,” Windermere baseball coach Eric Lassiter said. “He can really hit, too. He’s our leadoff hitter, so that’s a sign he can hit for contact, but he can really hit the ball with power. He is also one of the best base-runners on our teams and leads us in stolen bases. He’s just overall a really good player and leader.”

Through 15 games this season, Head is hitting for an average of .408 (20 hits in 44 at-bats). He has scored 23 runs, knocked in eight more, hit one home run and has stolen 18 bases. 

“He’ll project to play as a centerfielder at the next level,” Lassiter said. “At NC State, I think he’s top of the order kind of player right away, and obviously, I think he’ll have a chance to play pro ball, whether it’s instead of going to NC State or after he plays a couple years there.” 

First things first

With what is likely the biggest decision of the young man’s life looming, Ty Head is trying to stay focused on his final season at Windermere (12-3).

“This whole thing has just been a dream come true,” Ty Head said. “When I think about what’s coming up in my life and think back to all the hard work I put in, I’m just so happy and excited for what’s next. Whatever that ultimate decision is, I’ll be OK. NC State’s amazing, MLB’s amazing, so whatever my path ends up being, it’s going to be a great decision. 

“But until then, I’m just focusing on this team right here,” he said. “The past two years, we’ve gotten hot a little early. But this season, we haven’t clicked just yet. ... We’re going to soon. … I think this team has a shot to win it all.”

Sam Albuquerque is the Sports Editor for the Orange Observer. Please contact him with story ideas, results and statistics.

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Sam Albuquerque

A native of João Pessoa, Brazil, Sam Albuquerque moved in 1997 to Central Florida as a kid. After earning a communications degree in 2016 from the University of Central Florida, he started his career covering sports as a producer for a local radio station, ESPN 580 Orlando. He went on to earn a master’s degree in editorial journalism from Northwestern University, before moving to South Carolina to cover local sports for the USA Today Network’s Spartanburg Herald-Journal. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his lovely wife, Sarah, newborn son, Noah, and dog named Skulí.

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