Prep Baseball Report

The Top Viewed Profiles from 2017 - No. 1 and No. 2

Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

Another year is in the books and 2017 brought the first full year of Prep Baseball Report in North Carolina.  While PBR has been around since 2005, the “boots on the ground” philosophy of covering the country by covering each state has created the country’s biggest and most respected independent scouting service. 

In 2017, PBR’s coverage in North Carolina included increased player coverage and the most comprehensive coverage of North Carolina High School Baseball.  PBR ran the NC Baseball Coaches Associations high school team polls, while covering an average of ten games per week.  The hope to expand this coverage in the coming year is in the works.

As we look back at 2017, we can take a look at some of the top viewed profiles on PBR.  Players that attend PBR events receive a full profile which includes a head shot, updated statistical information, a full independent evaluation, and a professionally cut highlight video.  These players are also included in stories to cover the events they attend, driving college coaches and pro scouts to their individual PBR profiles. 

Players can also use the PBR Profile url to send to college coaches and scouts.  With over 800 colleges coaches and universities subscribing to PBR, players can share a trusted, independent evaluation allowing evaluators to become more familiar with their work on the field.

Today we continue our look at the Top 15 Most Viewed Profiles of 2017 with No. 1 and No. 2 on the list.

2017 Top Viewed PBR Profiles – North Carolina









MacKenzie Gore





East Carolina


Liam Norris


Green Hope



North Carolina


As we complete our look at the top viewed North Carolina profiles from 2017, we have two talented left handers with high ceilings.  One of which has accumulated awards and a first round selection, prior to starting his pro career.  The other still has a couple of years of high school, but is already one of the more followed players in the country.  At No. 2, in the most viewed NC profiles of 2017 is Green Hope Sophomore LHP, Liam Norris.  The most viewed NC profile of 2017 belongs to Whiteville’s MacKenzie Gore.

Liam Norris burst on the scene after moving to North Carolina with a long, physical frame and an electric arm.  This past summer, in front of PBR’s Director of North Carolina and PBR’s National Executive Director, he diced up hitters with a fastball – slider combination that exploded crossing the plate.  The fastball has been up to 92, and there is more growth coming for the pitch. 

At the Dirty 30 event in late June, Norris dazzled, earning this writeup from PBR scouts in attendance:

Physical frame with defined lower half in a 6-foot-3, 195 pound body.  Short arm action works to a high-3/4 slot, getting extension.  Quick arm speed and arm strength to go with it.  Fastball ramped up to 90-92, jumping on hitters.  Controlled the zone but did not command the glove.  Slider ranged 77-81.  At 79 and 81, the slider showed hard, late tilt, burying underneath swings, exploding to the plate.”

One of the premier arms in the country, Norris worked through the summer circuit after his Freshman year before he committed to the home state Tarheels of North Carolina.  The Tarheel coaching staff will be able to keep close tabs on the lefty from Cary, but as he continues to age, and continues to mature, pro scouts should be following his progression as well.

(Liam Norris - June of 2017)


MacKenzie Gore did just about everything you could as a senior on the field, and according to those around him, he exceled off the field as well.  At the conclusion of the spring, Gore earned many accolades, including:

  • 3 Time State Champion, including his Senior Year
  • No. 1 Ranking in the PBR NC 2017 Class
  • No. 1 Ranking in the PBR Overall 2017 Class
  • No. 2 in the PBR Draft 100
  • PBR North Carolina Player of the Year
  • PBR National Player of the Year
  • 1st Round Draft pick, 3rd overall to the San Diego Padres

PBR was able to follow Gore’s rise throughout his senior year as he was a solid early follow for the 2017 Draft.  PBR’s National Scouting Director, Nathan Rode, had this to say about Gore after an outing in early March:

“Approximately 75 scouts, including at least eight scouting directors and a handful of special assistants, packed the seats behind the plate in Whiteville, NC, to see Gore take the mound. All in attendance were treated to a strong pitching performance as the East Carolina recruit struck out 10 while allowing just three hits and a hit batter in 6.2 innings pitched. In the first inning, Gore came out sitting 91-93 mph, touching 94, and struck out two—one on a 92 fastball up and the other on an 81 cutter/slider away to a lefty. His fastball has life through the zone and opposing hitters had trouble making good contact against it. His cutter/slider has short, darting action, but flashes bigger break when thrown harder. Gore got another strikeout in the second, this time on a 76 breaking ball. Ranging from 73-77, the breaking ball had 3/4 break with sharpness. It was at its best at 76-77. Between the third and fourth innings, Gore struck out five in a row. He mixed in a changeup at 79-80, though it was inconsistent. He choked the pitch early, but showed better feel for it later in the game and got a strikeout with on in the fifth, giving him a strikeout with all four pitches. In the seventh, he fell behind 3-1 to a batter, not getting a couple calls he wanted, and reached back for two consecutive 94s to get his 10th and final strikeout. He induced a groundball to the next batter that could have been a game-ending double play, but the throw to first was off target. Gore was then removed due to pitch count. He has a projectable frame and is athletic on the mound, with a very high leg kick. He’s very flexible and can spring off the mound to make plays with ease. He takes a long stride down the mound and gets way out over his front leg.”

(MacKenzie Gore - March 2017)


Rode ultimately saw Gore throw three times last spring, and on a recent Coffee and Curveballs episode said, “I went in there because I wanted too.  After seeing him one time, it was enough to know he would be an early pick, but the way he competed and pitched, allowed you to enjoy his outings.”

In 2017, there were over 130,000 profile views of North Carolina players.  As the coverage of North Carolina expands, we will continue to see this number rise.  North Carolina is entering its second full year, while Prep Baseball Report has been on the scene since 2005.  Across PBR, player profiles received over 7 million views.  As our coverage, with a “boots on the ground” philosophy, continues to grow we are excited about continuing to show off the talent from across North Carolina.