Starting varsity catcher Shane Muntz is one of the top high school players in the state, and may have the chance to go to the MLB.
Shane Muntz dug into the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning, trailing by one run against Springside Chestnut Hill. The stakes were high – but Shane was cool and collected. He calmly stepped into the box and launched a go ahead home run – which would ultimately win the game for the Friars.
Junior Shane Muntz, according to perfectgame.org, has a fastball ‘up to 90 mph with a power bat as well.’
He has a career .333 batting average in 62 career games, including 48 hits with 11 home runs. In addition, he has posted a 1.82 E.R.A with an 11/5 Curveball and an overpowering fastball.
“He’s a very unique player,” head coach Fred Hilliard said. “He has a great personality and he realizes that there are players out there that are as good or better, and he wants to get better – he’s up to the challenge.”
Ever since he was little, Muntz was in love with the game of baseball, and the competition it brings.
“I probably started when I was 6 and in Little League,” Muntz said. “[Baseball is] competitive. It is just a one-on-one kind of deal. You have to beat the other guy – it’s just you against the pitcher.”
Muntz came to Malvern in ninth grade, and made the varsity team as a freshman. Since then, he has worked on his game and grown as a player.
At one point during his sophomore year, he was ranked #58th best player in the nation by Perfectgame.org.
“He has always had a lot of ability,” Hilliard said, “but now he is more disciplined at the plate. He is taking his walks – which is now setting up RBI opportunities for the guys behind him.”
Hilliard also added that although Muntz is not a captain, the team looks to him as a leader that will provide a spark.
During his high school career, Muntz has dedicated himself to perfecting his game, including going to catching clinics, working on his swing technique, and working out. He received a full evaluation and has a workout plan to help him improve.
“I have a pretty specific baseball training process,” Muntz said. “I lift four times a week along with hitting. In late January and February, I start to work with the pitching coach and start throwing more.”
He trains the hardest during the summer, but once the season starts, the actual playing of baseball serves as the majority of his training.
“During the season, I normally just do free weights and band work to keep myself sharp – nothing too serious,” Muntz said.
While at a showcase in Florida during the summer going into sophomore year, Muntz’s skills wowed many college coaches, including Virginia Tech.
“We just started talking to each other,” Muntz said. “I ended up going on a visit and liking it. Two weeks later, they offered me. I was young and just signed right away without really going through the process with other schools.”
But in March 2016, Muntz decided to decommit to Virginia Tech.
“I didn’t want to be one foot in, one foot out,” Muntz said. “I wanted to be excited about the program I would be going to, and have a chance to go to Omaha and get drafted.”
Currently, Muntz is thinking about 3-4 schools, particularly Florida, Louisville, and Wake Forest – all of which are premier college baseball schools.
Muntz is currently a top player in the nation, according to Perfect Game, which could mean being drafted out of high school. However, he is waiting until next year before he decides anything.
“It would be awesome to get the chance to play pro-baseball,” Muntz said, “but I am looking to go to school right now. I am not going to worry about it until my senior year.”
Right now, Muntz is taking it one game at a time, doing what he can to contribute to the team.
“He has been clutch at the plate this year,” Hilliard said. “He also gives us a great chance to win whenever we give him the ball [to pitch].”
During his freshman year, this wasn’t exactly the case.
“I was highly touted as a freshman,” Muntz said, “but I didn’t really play all that well. So I just looked at myself and made changes with my swing – which helped me my sophomore year and has continued to grow. You can always get better.”
Today, Muntz is one of the leaders of the team and hopes to capture a sixth straight Inter-Ac Championship.