Prep Baseball Report

UPATED: NC Class of 2021 Rankings

Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

As the summer season ends and the fall season begins, our staff at PBR North Carolina is working to sift through the massive amount of information to update players, stats, scout blogs, and rankings.  Today we release the updated NC Class of 2021 Rankings.  The rankings jump from 90 to the Top 150 players in the state.

This summer, PBR scouts have attended events, games, practices workouts and PBR has run open ID’s, Scout Days, and Top Prospect events.  The database of players in the 2021 class continues to grow and with that, the expansion of the rankings.

The top two slots in the rankings remain the same with Josh Hartle (LHP, Reagan HS) and Philip Abner (LHP, Covenant Day).  Each had successful summers, and each were called by Team USA to be a part of the national program.  Hartle’s pitch-ability is extremely advanced.  A three pitch repotoire mixed with highly skilled command gave him a slight edge.  Abner was extremely impressive in front of PBR’s Executive Director Sean Duncan at Wrigley Field this summer.  Abner’s fastball is elite, and it is not just the velocity, which PBR has seen up to 92, but it is the spin and action on the ball.  The Florida commit will gain more command with time and will be pushing Hartle for the top spot in the 2021 class for the next year.


The Top 10

Behind Hartle and Abner sits our first position player, Payton Green (SS, Green Hope HS).  A physical middle infielder with power potential, Green is the next of several pro follows from Green Hope HS. 

Six of the next seven slots are taken by uncommitted participants from the PBR Future Games.  Carson Starnes (RHP, Parkwood HS) has a lanky frame and a quick arm.  The fastball has been up to 89 with more growth coming.  There is pitch-ability and a highly competitive nature that allows Starnes stuff to tick up in high leverage games and situations.

Cyle Phelan (LHP, Fuquay-Varina HS) jumped on the scene at the 2018 NC Top Underclass Games.  That stock got a major boost with two outings in August.  The first was at the Future Games in front of over 300 college coaches, Phelan dominated a good offensive club in Team Georgia for two innings, punching four.  With the word out, Phelan bumped 91 at the NC Top Prospect Games the next week. 

(Cyle Phelan - August 2019)


Jordan Little (RHP, Hickory Grove Christian) threw on the final day at LakePoint at the Future Games.  Another dominant performance from a Team Carolina arm, Little touched 89, getting swing and miss in the zone, as well as chase out of the zone with his fastball.  The lanky frame is easy to project as it continues to mature.

Position players Stewart Evans (OF, Scotland County HS), Archie Dean Herring (OF, Westchester Country Day), and Bryan Arendt (C, Holly Springs HS) each made a lot of noise at LakePoint for Team Carolina.  Evans, already inside NC’s Top 10 in the 2021 class, continued to show power potential and athleticism.  A monster summer was capped off with another good showing at LakePoint.  Herring turned heads by running a 6.38 on the laser at the workout day.  He kept eyes on him when his offensive approach allowed him to handle good fastballs and stay on breaking balls later in the count.  Arendt was one of the top pure catching arms at the Future Games.  His BP screamed middle of the order potential as well.

(Archie Dean Herring - August 2019)



High Risers

In the coming days and weeks, we will continue to dive into the updated 2021 rankings with some of the players that took a big jump forward.  One that stands out is Harrison Garner (RHP, Garner HS).  Garner showed up and showed out at the NC Top Underclass Games.  An athletic frame and delivery unleashed into a very quick arm that sat 87-88 and bumped 89 in his two innings of work.  With his athleticism the ceiling is still very high for this righty.  Garner jumped from No. 58 to No. 17.


New Comers

We will get in-depth with some of the new names in the updated rankings.  The top two newcomers to the rankings check in at No. 14 and No. 23.  Both Dalton Pence (LHP, Cherryville HS) and Dalen Thompson (SS, Triton HS) jumped out at the 2019 State Games of NC.  With PBR on hand, Pence attacked the zone, touching 87.  Thompson’s athleticism flashed on the day 1 workouts.  He continued to show the athleticism plays in game situations over the next three days.  Both earned invites to the PBR Future Games and both committed prior to the Future Games.  Pence will be a Tarheel after graduation, while Thompson will head to Campbell.


By the Numbers

  • 150 – Total number of players in the updated rankings
  • 63 – Total number of players entering the 2021 rankings for the 1st time
  • 11 – Number of players that jumped more than 10 slots from their previous ranking
  • 28 – Number of ranked players that have committed
  • 14 – Number of committed players that have committed to an ACC school
  • 52 – Pitchers that are in the updated Top 150
  • 33 – Shortstops in the rankings
  • 24 – Outfielders in the rankings
  • 22 – Catchers in the rankings


The Rankings

1 Josh Hartle Reagan 2021 LHP Wake Forest
2 Philip Abner Covenant Day School 2021 LHP Florida
3 Payton Green Green Hope 2021 SS
4 Carson Starnes Parkwood 2021 RHP
5 Cyle Phelan Fuquay Varina 2021 LHP
6 Jordan Little Hickory Grove Christian 2021 RHP
7 Stewart Evans Scotland 2021 OF
8 Archie Dean Herring Westchester Country Day 2021 OF
9 Jacob Halford Northern Guilford 2021 RHP North Carolina State
10 Bryan Arendt Holly Springs 2021 C


To view the complete updated NC Class of 2021 Rankings – CLICK HERE