Prep Baseball Report

North Carolina Class of 2022 Rankings - Updated & Expanded

Brandon Hall
Executive Director, PBR NC

The North Carolina class of 2022 has a chance to be special with an exceptionally deep and talented pool of players.  While it is still very early in the identification process for the 2022s, the staff of Prep Baseball Report of NC has been working to add players to a follow list and eventually add player grades on the athletes that may be added to the Class of 2022 Rankings.

There are a few commitments out of the 2022 class, but the new NCAA rules, limiting communication routes for coaches to prospects until they begin their Junior year seems to have slowed the recruiting process a bit.  The 2022 class will draw a lot of eyes, as several have already competed for Team USA and at the PBR Future Games.  The players at the top of the class were featured heavily for their high school programs in 2019, and should be in a similar role for 2020, if not even more elevated.  North Carolina has produced multiple 1st Round picks in the past 5 years and moving forward, the class of 2022 could compete to be one of the best out of the state in recent years.


The North Carolina Class of 2022 Rankings

At the top of the 2022 class in NC, and in the Overall PBR Rankings, is Ryan Clifford (OF/1B, Leesville Rd HS), out of the Raleigh area.  At 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, the bat has a chance to be special.  There is elite bat speed with plus power potential as we begin to project him to a MLB Scouting Grade.  Clifford easily lifts balls from the left side, routinely peppering the area beyond the left-center field fence.  While he can still clean up parts of his game and continue to develop, the high ranking is based on the bat, and deservedly so.



At No. 2 and No. 3 are Carter Boyd (RHP, Reagan HS) and Matthew Matthijs (RHP, DH Conley HS), who each spent time with Team USA this past summer.  Matthijs represented his country as a member of the gold medal winning 15U Team.  Each right hander has electric stuff.  Matthijs is a little more athletic and whippy with his arm while Boyd has arm speed and a ton of raw arm strength.  The separation between the two arms in the PBR offices was close to a coin flip.  Each arm checks a lot of boxes for scouts and coaches as they come see them… Big stuff, control, arm speed, projection, and competitiveness all rank high for each and it should be fun to watch each grow into their roles this spring.

Three members of Team Carolina from the PBR Future Games also check in inside the Top 10.  Lukas Schramm (OF, Apex HS), Michael Colonna (RHP, Weddington HS), and Isaiah Lowe (RHP/3B, The Christ School) took part in the biggest underclass event in the country, featuring the top uncommitted players from across the USA.  Schramm committed to Kentucky shortly after the event flashing premium athleticism in a large, athletic frame.



Lowe is an intriguing dual prospect.  There is thunder in the bat and on the mound he has been up to 91.  There is still development to come, but the blend of power that is present in a large frame, with the quickness he shows as well, will have a lot of eyes following him into the spring.



Colonna is a two-sport star that came on strong at the end of the spring, moving up to Weddington’s varsity after a stellar outing in their spring break tournament.   At the PBR Future Games, he was in the middle of daily workouts for football where he stars as a wide receiver.  The arm works with ease and the slider has bite.  PBR Scouts have seen 88 with more in the tank.




Big Movers

Larson Scholtz (OF/RHP, Asheville HS) moved 16 spots up to No. 24 in this latest release.  Scholtz put up impressive numbers at the PBR Top Underclass Games in August, where he ran a 7.05 sixty and posted an exit velocity of 95 mph with the bat.  On the bump, the 6-foot-5 righty sat 82-84.  Still raw and developing, there are tools to work with as Scholtz makes a move in the 2022 class.



Brooks Brannon (C, Randleman HS) only moved up three slots to No. 19, but with the addition of 25 players to the rankings, several of them high end players, it is obvious that Brannon’s player grade increased from the last rankings.  Brannon worked with several high end arms in the spring as the FR catcher on state runner-up Randleman’s club.  His work with the pitchers was very impressive, but it was the growth with the bat, handling good arms in their stretch run that moved his overall player grade.  Compact with some hand strength, Brannon works direct with a high level of barrel feel. 




New Guys

The rankings list moved from the Top 50 in NC to the Top 75.  With twenty-five new faces in the list, several have made big early impressions.  None came bigger than No. 13 Judd Utermark (INF, Charlotte Christian).  Utermark worked out for PBR at the Queen City ID in May and followed that with an outstanding summer season.  Utermark earned an invite to the prestigious PBR Future Games, but was already beginning to narrow down his list, eventually selecting the University of Mississippi as his next home.  A physical presence, Utermark has quickness and possesses the range and mobility to potentially stick on the infield.




By The Numbers

The PBR Staff will continue to dive into the updated NC Class of 2022 Rankings in the coming weeks.  Below are some numbers out of the updated rankings:

  • 75 players in the rankings… Expanded from 50
  • 25 new players in the rankings
  • 12 players have committed
  • 6 Players to the ACC, 2 players to the SEC
  • 4 Players have committed to each North Carolina State and East Carolina
  • 6 Players inside the Top 10 remain uncommitted, including No. 1 and No. 2
  • 26 Pitchers are listed inside the Top 75
  • 22 infielders are currently ranked
  • 12 catchers made the cut
  • 12 outfielders are also in the rankings, including 4 inside the Top 10


Previewing the Top 10

1 Ryan Clifford Leesville Road 2022 OF
2 Carter Boyd Reagan 2022 RHP
3 Matthew Matthijs DH Conley 2022 RHP North Carolina
4 Calvert Clark Charlotte Christian 2022 OF
5 Michael Gupton Rolesville 2022 OF North Carolina State
6 Lukas Schramm Apex 2022 OF Kentucky
7 Eli Jerzembeck Providence 2022 RHP
8 Michael Colonna Weddington 2022 RHP
9 Isaiah Lowe Christ School 2022 RHP
10 Xavier Isaac East Forsyth 2022 1B East Carolina


CLICK HERE to see the New and Expanded Class of 2022 Rankings for NC.