North Carolina Inside the Updated 2019 Overall Rankings

Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

As players, scouts, coaches, and families are grinding through the summer circuit, it is time to update the PBR rankings.  On Wednesday, the Overall 2019 rankings were updated and expanded to the top 400 players playing in PBR territories.

Since the last update, states like Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina have been added to the PBR landscape.  With the new additions, the PBR now covers every state east of Colorado as the journey continues west to join the already-buzzing hotbeds of Arizona and California. The trio of Alabama-Georgia-South Carolina combine for an influx of more than sixty prospects to the new rankings. It is important to note that PBR overall rankings only include states that we intimately know from our boots-on-the-ground scouting staff.

North Carolina is still very well represented in the national rankings with a total of sixteen players ranking inside the top 400.  Junior LHP Chris Villaman (Ledford HS) is the highest ranked North Carolinian at No. 24. Brendan Malone is transferring from Porter Ridge HS to IMG Academy in Florida and will be in PBR Florida’s new class rankings.  Malone is No. 5 overall and No. 3 in Florida in the updated Overall Rankings.

North Carolina did see one national name back in the fold as catcher Ray Torres, a LSU commit, will be back in school this fall in North Carolina (per reports) after spending his Junior year at IMG Academy.  Torres has advanced catch and throw skills and the bat has started to come around as he continues to increase the strength in his body. Torres is No. 195 overall.

Torres is not the highest ranked catcher in North Carolina as he returns.  Kyle Smith (New Hanover HS), a UNC commit, has impressed through the last spring and into the summer.  While taking home a state championship with the Wildcats, Smith keyed the offense and steadied the pitching staff.  The hit tool is advanced and there is a great feel for the barrel.  Defensively, Smith flashes athleticism in just about every facet of his game. 

As with most years, pitching is the name of the game as 12 of the 16 players in North Carolina that landed inside the Top 400 are pitchers.  Villaman sets the pace but 6-foot-10 righty, Austin Pace (Currituck County HS) and Cody Benton (West Columbus HS) are close behind.  Two-sport star Blake Walston (LHP) was a key part of the New Hanover state championship as well and the thin framed lefty has a big arm that he is still learning to command. 

By the Numbers: North Carolina in the Overall Rankings

  • All 16 North Carolina Players have committed

  • Of North Carolina Players, 12 of the 16 have committed to ACC schools

  • NC State leads the way with ranked NC players at 6

  • 12 of the 16 ranked players from North Carolina are pitchers

  • 2 North Carolina catchers are ranked

By the Numbers: A Full Look at the Overall Rankings
  • 60 of the Top 400 come from PBR’s 3 added territories of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina

  • LSU has 10 of the Top 100 committed

  • Vanderbilt has 6 of the Top 100 committed

  • Florida has 7 of the Top 100 committed

  • Louisville has 5 of the Top 150 committed

  • Mississippi State has 4 of the Top 50 and 7 of the Top 200

  • Clemson has 4 of the Top 100 committed

By the Numbers: Commitments from North Carolina Schools
  • Duke has 2 in the Top 200 and 4 in the Overall Rankings committed

  • East Carolina has 2 in the Overall Rankings committed

  • North Carolina has 3 in the Top 100, and 9 in the Overall Rankings committed

  • North Carolina State has 3 in the Top 200, and 6 in the Overall Rankings committed

  • 36 total players and 3 in the Top 100 remain uncommitted, out of the Top 400

You can see the story releasing the updated Overall Rankings HERE.

To view the complete updated rankings, expanded to the Top 400, CLICK HERE