Overall 2021 Rankings - Quick Hitters

Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

The updated overall 2021 Rankings were expanded to the Top 75 players across the PBR map, earlier this week.  While we have not released a North Carolina 2021 ranking yet, there are three players in the overall rankings and several to follow as we get ready for the spring season.

It is obviously very early and there will be big adjustments coming to the 2021 rankings as that class plays their first high school season and begins the gauntlet of the summer and fall circuit.  As young as the players are, college coaches are working to identify, and at times commit players they feel will help their programs down the road.  Three players are committed in North Carolina, in the 2021 class.  Josh Hartle (LHP, Reagan HS), Chris Katz (C, Heritage HS), and Tommy Hawke (SS, South Brunswick HS) have each committed to Wake Forest.  Hartle and Katz headline the North Carolina players in the rankings.

Hartle jumped on the scene this summer, competing for Team USA 15U and winning gold.  The left hander has a good feel for the strike zone, creating movement on his fastball that has ramped up to 84.  The change-up does create discomfort, mimicking the fastball with his arm speed.  There is plenty of room to project continued growth in the 6-foot-3, 160 pound frame.

 Katz, also committed to Wake Forest, has lots of physical projection left in a 6-foot, 185 pound frame.  A right handed hitter, there is a good feel for the barrel and future power can be seen in the current product.  Katz also works on the mound, showing arm strength and a feel for the strike zone. 

The final North Carolina product in the overall 2021 rankings is Andrew Grande (3B, Christ School).  Grande is a physical presence in the middle of any order at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds.  From the right side there is definite power present with a swing that is geared to lift the baseball.  His projection may be limited a little from an athletic stand point, but the power potential will keep him on a lot of recruiting boards in the near future.

Behind the Numbers

  • Rankings expanded by 25 players to the Top 75
  • 45 of the Top 75 were committed when the rankings were released
  • University of Miami has 7 commitments… Louisville with 6 and Wake Forest with 4
  • 25 primary pitchers listed in the Top 75
  • 11 catchers in the rankings
  • 23 middle infielders earn a ranking

Names to Watch in North Carolina

As PBR continues to work with its “boots on the ground” mentality, the list of players will grow and our scouts assessments will be more in depth.  Just in North Carolina we are expecting to see a talented crop of 2021s at the Winter Future Game Trials and the Preseason All-State event.  Both events are in January. 

Several other players were considered for the overall rankings by PBR staff.  Some of these players are highlighted below.

Philip Abner, LHP, Covenant Day School

  • Physical left hander that has shown a good fastball in high level events

Brandon Hudson, RHP, Cuthbertson HS

  • Athletic and projectable righty that threw well in a PBR Tournament in June of 2017

Tommy Hawke, SS, South Brunswick HS

  • Committed to Wake Forest
  • Athletic with quick twitch tendencies

Harrison Garner, OF, Garner HS

  • Toolsy outfielder who had a big day at the Akadema Knights PBR Scout Day in June of 2017

Merritt Beaker, LHP, North Davidson HS

  • Left hander showed premium stuff in a short outing in front of PBR in July of 2017
  • Dominated the strike zone, showing multiple pitches with swing and miss potential