Prep Baseball Report

Updated NC Class of 2019 Rankings

Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

The signing period has begun and baseball prospects across the state of North Carolina are beginning to make their commitments official as they sign their scholarship papers and their National Letter of Intent.  As the fall closes, it is time to update the class of 2019 rankings for North Carolina. 

The updated list expands from 300 to the top 325 players in the state.  PBR’s staff of scouts and evaluators has been on the road since the last update in July, watching practices, games, workouts, and running events.  Several PBR events like the Top Prospect Games in August allowed players to update their profile while competing against high level players.  In total, 29 players make their first appearance in the class of 2019 rankings for the state.

Typically the end of fall rankings is a clean-up of sorts, filtering and shuffling players based on updated notes and scouting reports.  Players continue to get better as they add strength to their frame and at this time you begin to see the next wave of maturity hit some players, where their increased strength and quickness makes a big difference. 

There were a couple of big jumps within the top 25.  Carter Sheppard (RHP, Lake Norman HS, 2019) did not get a lot of run in the spring on an extremely deep pitching staff at Lake Norman.  The High Point commit took a big step forward at the State Games of North Carolina in June and continued that progress this fall where PBR was there to see him in Florida working 89-91. 

Brett Banks (RHP, Garner HS, 2019) and Mason Gwyn (RHP, North Surry HS, 2019) took advantage of the stage at PBR events.  Banks re-opened his recruiting process late, and threw a bullpen at the Greensboro Prospect ID in late October.  A solid 3-pitch mix along with a fastball up to 93 created a ton of buzz as he neared the signing date.  Gwyn was the big winner at the PBR Top Prospect Games where the lanky righty bumped 91 in a game setting with a loose, quick arm.  Gwyn committed to Charlotte just a few weeks after the event.

(Mason Gwyn - August 2018)


Tafton Hensley (OF, Mooresville HS, 2019) has a plus tool, running a sub-6.50 sixty at the State Games of North Carolina.  Hensley continued to weigh his options late into the fall, and continued to show the run tool is extremely advanced.  He made a big move up the board landing inside the Top 50 as the hit tool and defensive actions continued to progress.  Hensley committed to Virginia Tech.

After Banks, the next uncommitted player in the rankings is OF Zack Michael (Apex HS).  Michael is a dynamic athlete that is working to polish his offensive and defensive game.  A 6.90 runner, the arm is advanced with a position velocity is a workout up to 91 mph and an exit velocity peaking at 89 mph.

(Zack Michael - June 2018)


Below we will take an in-depth look at newcomers in the newly released rankings.  The full Top 325 can be seen here.

Notes on Newcomers

+ Greyson Bailey (OF, Pro 5 Academy, 2019) is a physical presence in the right side of the box.  At 6-foot-3, 225 pound, Baily ran a 6.78 sixty as a recent scout day, while showing strength in his hands.  He also worked up to 85 off the bump.  Bailey is uncommitted.

+ Sawyer Worrell (LHP, Pro 5 Academy, 2019) made his first appearance in front of PBR scouts at the Top Prospect Games.  A strong lefty, he showed athleticism and a clean arm stroke.  Throughout the fall, the arm strength continued to grow where he touched 84 at the Pro 5 Academy scout day.  Worrell recently committed to USC-Upstate.

CJ Martin (C, Pro 5 Academy, 2019) is the third from the Pro 5 system to make his debut in the updated rankings.  Martin is a lean athlete behind the plate with carry to his throws.  Offensively there is a feel for the barrel.  Martin stood out at the PBR Top Prospect Games in August.

+ Will Hood (OF, Pro 5 Academy, 2019) is a lean athletic outfielders that turned in a 6.87 sixty at the Pro 5 scout day.  He also stood out with a simple, repeatable swing at the PBR Top Prospect Games in August.

Collin Welch (RHP, Western Harnett, 2019) works with some hand speed and an advanced slider.  He plowed through hitters at the PBR Top Prospect Games in August, making quick work of his two innings.  The fastball peaked at 86, but may jump in the near future.

+  5 players from the Myers Park Scout Day in October made their debut in the rankings.  RJ Rhem and Jack Masonis are part of a senior trio in the outfield that can cover ground and provide stability in the lineup.  Evan Barbaryka (1B) has a chance to develop into a middle of the order type hitter and there is enough athleticism to project him to be average to above defensively.  Wilson Glasgow (RHP) is a tall, lean strike thrower with an advanced feel for his change-up.  The lone player in this group that does not attend Myers Park is James Goodwin (SS, Home Schooled, 2019).  Goodwin flashed solid actions and carry from shortstop along with a direct swing with feel for the barrel.

By the Numbers: The Updated 2019 Rankings

+ 163 Players in the top 325 have committed
+ 76 Players have committed since the last rankings update
+ 11 Players have committed to Lenoir-Rhyne, the most of any school
+ 10 Players have committed to NC State and UNCW, right behind Lenoir-Rhyne
+ 122 Pitchers are inside the rankings, leading all positions
+  90 of the pitchers are right handed arms
+  108 infielders are ranked with 50 of them as primary shortstops
+  42 catchers are ranked with 21 of them committed at this time

Preview the Top 10


NC Rankings - Class of 2019
as of Nov. 15, 2018

Rank Name State School Class Position Commitment
1 Chris Villaman NC Ledford 2019 LHP NC State
2 Kyle Smith NC New Hanover 2019 C UNC
3 Austin Pace NC Currituck County 2019 RHP NC State
4 Cody Benton NC West Columbus 2019 RHP ECU
5 Blake Walston NC New Hanover 2019 LHP NC State
6 Xander Hamilton NC Broughton 2019 RHP Virginia Tech
7 Trey Tujetsch NC Ardrey Kell 2019 RHP South Carolina
8 Carter Sheppard NC Lake Norman 2019 RHP High Point
9 CJ Neese NC Grimsley 2019 RHP/SS NC State
10 Noah Soles NC Ledford 2019 OF NC State


To view the entire updated rankings for North Carolina's Class of 2019 -- CLICK HERE.