Prep Baseball Report

Positional Rankings: NC's Top 30 RHP

Brandon Hall
Executive Director, PBR of NC

The State of North Carolina has a rich history of producing talent on the mound for both the professional and college ranks.  As we work through the RHP in the 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 classes, it is evident that the state remains completely stocked.  The 2020 and 2021 MLB Drafts will look different than any draft in recent history, with only 5 rounds in 2020 and potentially 20 rounds in 2021, there are prospects in North Carolina that will make it to a college campus, that may have begun their professional careers in years past. 

While working through the list of RHP, PBR scouts noticed a heavy lean toward older arms.  There is more information and there is a significant up-tick in the number of players that make a jump after their Sophomore year, throwing out a lot of the early scouting reports that may have been compiled.  The list of the top 30 RHP in North Carolina was extremely difficult to cut down and will create a lot of debate about players rankings and good arms that were left off the list.

When we are talking about arms that have made jumps, especially after their SO year in High School, we are talking about pitchers like Jackson Kirkpatrick (RHP, McMichael HS, 2020).  Kirkpatrick, No. 8 in the list, was recently profiled in Then & Now where PBR’s notes from his FR year through his SR year were analyzed, giving readers a chance to see just how far Jackson has come.  At 6-foot-7, and a multi-sport guy in high school, there is no reason to believe the Western Carolina commit is up against his ceiling.  If the 2020 MLB Draft last another 10 rounds, Kirkpatrick could be in position to have a tough decision.  With the rules set the way they are, the Catamounts are probably landing a front of the rotation arm for their staff.

(Jackson Kirkpatrick - AUG 2019)

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The 2020 class is heavily represented with fifteen of the top 30.  More than likely the list is skewed toward the older players, as more than any other position, pitchers can see their stock rise very quickly as they begin to mature their bodies.  Several arms in the class will be following the 2020 MLB Draft in the coming weeks with Koen Moreno (RHP, Panther Creek HS, 2020), Cannon Pickell (RHP, Currituck County HS, 2020), and Landon Ginn (RHP, Corinth Holders HS, 2020) each profiling as arms to follow through the spring.  The shortened spring and the smaller draft could affect each prospects immediate future but each has shown stuff that should allow them to continue to move to higher levels in years to come.

The 2022 class of arms in North Carolina has a chance to be a very special class.  At the top of the class are two left-handed arms that will undoubtedly make an appearance in the Top LHP list for North Carolina.  Even with those two arms not qualifying for this list, the class of 2022 still takes the No. 2 and No. 3 positions with Carter Boyd (RHP, Reagan HS, 2020)  and Matthew Matthijs (RHP, DH Conley HS, 2020) respectively.  Four arms in the 2022 class are inside the top 10.  One of those arm, at No. 10, is a dual sport athlete, Michael Colonna (RHP, Weddington HS, 2022).  Colonna is an intriguing follow as he has prospects on the grid iron too as a wide out, but on the mound the lanky right has shown an explosive fastball and wipeout slider in the making.  Colonna participated in the PBR Future Games in August, while also completing two-a-days for football.  The stuff was down a bit in Atlanta after practicing and his drive, but the arm action and athleticism created a lot of buzz.

(Michael Colonna - AUG 2019)

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The list of the top RHP in the state could easily have been extended to the Top 100, creating a lot of debate about who is too low and who is too high.  This list will create that debate, along with the debate of who was left off.   No matter your take on the list, it is obvious the depth and talent of the prep arms in the State of North Carolina could compete with any other state in the country.


Top 30 RHP in North Carolina


Rank Name High School Grad Pos Commitment
1 Koen Moreno Panther Creek 2020 RHP East Carolina
2 Carter Boyd Reagan 2022 RHP
3 Matthew Matthijs DC Conley 2022 RHP North Carolina

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