Prep Baseball Report

Updated Class of 2021 Rankings - North Carolina

Brandon Hall
Executive Director, PBR of NC

The summer season of 2020 has come and gone.  While it was interesting to see players playing on live stream broadcasts, in empty stadiums, the players, coaches, and scouts made it through, still working to be productive in unprecedented times.

The staff of PBR was hard at work as well.  Over the course of the summer, PBR ran multiple team scout days, open identification events, Future Game Trials, Top Prospect Games, and more.  All the while, PBR scouts were also setup in front of their computers watching as many live games as possible, continuing to cover the state of North Carolina from the coast to the mountains.

Several players turned in huge summers, vaulting up the new Class of 2021 Rankings.  We have a new No. 1, but just like last rankings release, the top spots in the Class of 2021 Rankings are very fluid.  On the national stage two players captured the attention of pro scouts and the national coverage team with PBR.  Josh Hartle (LHP, Reagan HS) returns to the top spot after several impressive outings on the national stage.  The final impression came at the Area Code Games, hosted at PBR’s LakePoint facility in Emerson, GA.  The lefty flashed advanced command and pitch-ability with three offerings that project to grade out as at least average in his future.  The fastball peaked at 92 mph with a lot of ease in the delivery and arm.



The biggest move to the top of the board came from Kahlil Watson (SS, Wake Forest HS).  Watson flashed instincts, hands, and rhythm defensively, showing an ability to stay there as he moves to higher levels of play.  Offensively, the left handed hitter is a tough out, producing good at-bat after good at-bat against some of the top arms in the country.  There is quickness and barrel feel with a ton of development in his hand strength in the last year.  Many area scouts have Watson at the top of their board and will be following him closely into the spring season.

The elite LHP in the class continues at No. 3 and No. 4, with four lefties inside the top 25.  Philip Abner (LHP, Charlotte Christian) takes spot No. 3 and will be a high follow for scouts entering the spring.  A power lefty, Abner has elite spin metrics, allowing his high velocity to play even harder out of the hand.  While he does not have the pitch-ability of Hartle, there is thought that his spin and movement metrics hamper is current command, but that is something that will come with reps and age.  

The Overall Class of 2021 Rankings were released on Wednesday with North Carolina well represented.  Hartle, Watson, and Abner are all inside the Overall Top 20.  In total, 19 North Carolina players landed inside the Overall Top 500.  Of these players, only one player remains uncommitted with nine committed to ACC programs and eleven committed to a Power 5 Conference school. 

In the coming days we will break down the updated Class of 2021 Rankings.  Below is a sneak peak at the updated Top 10.  To see the entire list, expanded to the Top 250 players in the state, see the link below.  You must be a logged in as a subscriber to see the entire list.


Updated Class of 2021 Rankings – North Carolina


CLICK HERE to see the full updated Class of 2021 Rankings for North Carolina