Prep Baseball Report

Inside the Rankings: 2019 Risers

Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

The recent North Carolina Class of 2019 Rankings update expanded the list to the top 200 players in the state.  Prep Baseball Report’s staff continues to work to cover the entire state, bring player and team reports to college coaches, pro scouts, and high school baseball fans.


The biggest climber in the new rankings is Xander Hamilton (RHP/1B, Broughton HS).  Hamilton was profiled as part of the climbers list in the national rankings here.  After Hamilton, the biggest risers seem to come from evaluation days.  Some of the reasons can be the players have made jumps and some of the update may be from an initial player grade that was too low.  Several players in the South Charlotte Panther organization took advantage of their opportunity, really impressing the PBR staff. 

Matthew Siverling (LHP, Charlotte Christian) jumped on the scene in a relief outing this spring.  Through the summer and into the fall the 6-foot-4, 170 pounder continued to gain strength and rhythm in his delivery, rising 30 spots to No. 26.  The fastball has peaked at 84 in front of PBR scouts, but it is easy to dream on the lefty adding velocity in the near future.  During the fall semester, Siverling committed to Virginia Tech. 

Along with Silvering, two other South Charlotte Panthers made a jump after their Scout Day with PBR this fall.  Athletic catcher, Bo Rusher (Salisbury HS) and the left handed hitting Vasili Kaloudis (3B, Ardrey Kell HS) both moved up at least 10 spots in the rankings.  Rusher jumped to No. 58, flashing accuracy with pop times ranging 2.00 – 2.07.  Running a 7.23 sixty, it is easy to project the addition of strength to a 6-foot-1, 190 pound frame. 

(Bo Rusher - September 2017)


Kaloudis has a sweet swing from the left side, flashing barrel ability in BP and in live game situations.  The above average bat speed is not carrying exit velocity off the barrel yet, but the 6-foot, 170 pound frame has plenty of room for additional strength that will translate into gap power as he continues to mature.  Defensively, Kaloudis is an infielder that may be able to move to a corner outfield spot and add depth to a future roster.  There is good rhythm in the body allowing for the hands to work. 

(Vasili Kaloudis - September 2017)


Rounding out big movers, inside the updated Top 100 are Griffin Gardner (RHP, Cox Mill HS), Jackson Bertelsen (RHP, Covenant Day School), and Ethan Reese (RHP, Providence HS).  Gardner has some strength to a 6-foot-4, 190 pound build.  Moving to No. 95, the right hander has a fastball reaching 87 mph.  Coiled at balance, there is a tendency to fall to the third base side, but fastballs to the arm side do show life. 

(Griffin Gardner - August 2017)


Berthelsen, also a very good student, committed to West Point this fall.  Long and lanky, the 6-foot-5, 180 pounder has a bright future ahead of him.  PBR saw an early fall bullpen where the fastball peaked at 82, knowing more velocity is coming. 

Reese is intriguing because the frame and athleticism remains untapped but there is an ease to his release.  The high-3/4 release works with looseness, providing some quickness through release.  The curveball will develop in the next season as there is good spin present and the ability to replicate his delivery with the pitch.

(Ethan Reese - September 2017)