Prep Baseball Report

NC Class of 2021 Rankings - Updated and Expanded

Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

Winter workouts have begun for most players and teams as they prepare for the spring of 2019.  With that said, it is time to review our rankings and next up is the class of 2021.  The initial class release for North Carolina came out at the end of this past summer.  The fall sees the list expanding to the Top 75 players from across the Tarheel state.

The fall and winter rankings will see some slight adjustments as players are able to workout and play in front of PBR scouts.  This rankings release is not different with only two new name inside the Top 10.  As we move deeper into the rankings though we see six new names in Top 30 and five of those are making their first appearance in the North Carolina 2021 Class rankings.

Two left handers top the class with Josh Hartle (LHP, Reagan HS) and Philip Abner (LHP, Covenant Day).  Hartle is coming off another good summer representing the country as a member of Team USA’s 15U club.  Hartle is committed to Wake Forest.  Abner shot up the rankings with a solid summer prior to committing to Florida.

The new-comer to the Top 10 is Payton Green (SS, Green Hope HS, 2021).  An East Carolina commit, Green has matured physically and was impressive at an early fall event with PBR in attendance.   Athletic on defense with enough arm to project easily to the left side, the right handed hitter really impressed with the whip in his bat.  There is some swing and miss present as he is working to create a little more loft through contact, but when he is on the barrel the power potential is real.

(Payton Green)


There are three catchers inside the top 20 with Chris Katz (C, Heritage HS), Ryan McCrystal (C/RHP, Fuquay-Varina HS), and Bryan Arendt (C/RHP, Holly Springs HS).  Each has attended a PBR event since August adding a statistics and a video to their profile.  Arendt shot up the rankings with an impressive performance at The Performance Academy Open ID at Campbell in November.  A physical build, Arendt has quickness and premium arm strength, with accuracy, from behind the dish.  Katz is a Wake Forest commit and McCrystal has committed to East Carolina.  Arendt is still uncommitted, but there is plenty of interest with his tool set.

(Bryan Arendt)



NC Class of 2021 Rankings – By The Numbers

  • Class expands from the Top 50 to the Top 75
  • 26 Players make their rankings debut
  • 15 Players in the 2021 Rankings have committed
  • 7 of the Top 10 are committed
  • 10 of the Top 20 are committed
  • 4 commits each to ECU, NC State, and Wake Forest
  • 1 commit to Florida, the lone out of state commit
  • 20 Pitchers are listed in the Top 75
  • 15 Catchers appear in the list


NC Class of 2021 – Top 10

1 Josh Hartle NC Reagan 2021 LHP Wake Forest
2 Philip Abner NC Covenant Day School 2021 LHP Florida
3 Chris Katz NC Heritage 2021 C Wake Forest
4 Andrew Grande NC Christ School 2021 3B
5 Merritt Beeker NC North Davidson 2021 LHP East Carolina
6 Cyle Phelan NC Fuquay Varina 2021 LHP
7 Payton Green NC Green Hope 2021 SS East Carolina
8 Troy McGirt NC Purnell Swett 2021 1B Wake Forest
9 Stewart Evans NC Scotland 2021 OF
10 Carson Kelly NC Lee County 2021 RHP North Carolina State