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Class of 2022 Rankings - Updated and Expanded


Brandon Hall
Executive Director, PBR NC

The 2022 class in North Carolina is very deep and very talented.  When you look at the Overall PBR Rankings for the 2022 class 20 players from North Carolina are listed in the top 400 nationally.  The depth of the state is highlighted at the top with Ryan Clifford (1B/OF, Leesville Rd HS), ranked No. 1 Overall and in North Carolina. 

Clifford continues to show tremendous value in the box as a left-handed hitter with high end power and a feel for hitting.  In BP, the slugger can easily carry opposite field gaps at college level stadium, swinging wood.   At an event in Holly Springs’ Ting Stadium in September, the scoreboard was in harms way throughout his batting practice as he worked to lift balls and carry them off the target.  In game situations, Clifford is still a young hitter, but he shows pitch recognition and patience.  The power has not transferred completely into game situations, but every at-bat can be scary for an opposing team.

(Ryan Clifford - September 2019)

 

Inside the top ten of the updated North Carolina rankings we see five arms.  Of the five arms 3 are committed.  As we continue to watch this class mature, it is possible to see these arms flip-flop in the rankings as each has tremendous up-side and their player rankings are very close together.   Carter Boyd (RHP, Reagan HS) has an incredibly strong arm, running his fastball up to 89 for PBR scouts, with reports of better bolts from some area coaches.  Matthew Matthijs (RHP, DH Conley HS), a UNC commit, may be the best athlete of the group of arms with a loose, twitchy body that creates a high level of  arm speed.  As he matured through his freshman year, he began to dominate the strike zone with multiple pitches.  This growth catapulted Matthjis to a big summer with Team USA 15U.

Two of the arms were with PBR’s Team Carolina at the PBR Future Games in August.  Michael Colonna (RHP, Weddington HS) is a dual sport athlete that flashed at Lake Point from a simple delivery, working out of the stretch only.   The arm works with extreme ease and the frame is going to be powerful as he continues to mature.  The fastball has been up to 88 with a hard slider at 77.

(Michael Colonna - August 2019)

 

Isaiah Lowe (RHP/3B, The Christ School) committed to Wake Forest shortly after the PBR Future Games.  The big righty may have a chance to be a dual player at Wake with a power bat, but it is the arm that is a separator right now.  The fastball may continue to grow, having already touched 91.  Still maturing on the bump, the secondary stuff should grow in the coming years.

(Isaiah Lowe - August 2019)

 

Twenty-one committed players make the updated 2022 rankings.  Inside the top ten, there are three uncommitted players, including the top 2 in the rankings.  As usual, many of the commitments are to in-state schools and surrounding leagues with the ACC well represented by the commitments. 

The rankings themselves grow from the Top 75 to the Top 125 in the state.  PBR scouts were able to see players from the 2022 class at PBR Scout Days, PBR tournaments, high school workouts, scrimmages, practices, games, and other combine type events.  Each player that PBR saw enough of to put a player grade on, received a player grade, allowing that player to enter the rankings database.  While the jump to 125 ranked players is a big one, this class will see a lot of growth and change in the coming year as the second year in high school tends to be a growth year for many players.

Newcomers to the 2022 Rankings

Fifty players make their debut in the rankings as the state rankings grew from the top 75 players in North Carolina to the Top 125.   Luke Schmolke (RHP, Lake Norman HS) is the highest in the debut at No. 14.  Schmolke had a good summer and fall for the South Charlotte Panthers but PBR missed several outings we were hoping to see.  At the Panthers PBR Scout Day, Schmolke showed a big arm and feel.  The fastball ran up to 89 in the bullpen with a hard, downer breaking ball at 74.  Throughout the bullpen there was aggression and good direction with a quick arm.  Schmolke should continue to grow on the bump as he continues to add strength to the 5-foot-11 frame.

Korbin Pettigrew (SS, Hoggard HS) made the most out of his opportunities at a couple of PBR events.  A long, lean athlete there is rhythm on the infield that suggests he will have a chance to stay in the middle of the field with the long frame.  Offensively, there is rhythm and barrel ability.  With the long frame, as he adds strength, we will be watching to see how it translates to game situations.

(Korbin Pettigrew - November 2019)

 

As we continue to break down the updated 2022 rankings, we will have more on several players who are new to the rankings list.

High Climbers

With younger players especially, player grades from PBR scouts can be drastically updated as our scouts get to see and know the players more.  This was evident with several PBR Scout Days as players made big jumps as PBR’s staff was able to see the players in an intimate setting.  The player grades are constantly being evaluated and updated and we typically see more movement in the younger classes as PBR scouts really zone in on players as they see them more throughout their career. 

Michael Forret (RHP, Metrolina Christian) only moved up three spots from No. 15 to No. 12 but he made a significant jump in his player grade based on his continued development.  A lean righty, committed to East Carolina, Forret showed an explosive fastball with boring action to the arm side.  He complimented that action with a breaking ball where he showed feel for the strike zone.

(Michael Forret - October 2019)

 

In the coming week we will continue to look at the updated 2022 rankings, highlighting some of the high risers in the class.

By the Numbers

A look inside the Class of 2022 North Carolina rankings

  • 125 players ranked, updated from the Top 75
  • 21 players in the rankings have committed
  • 50 new players to the updated rankings
  • 39 of the top 125 are pitchers
  • 18 corner infielders made the cut
  • 26 middle infielders are listed in the updated rankings
  • 23 catchers are in the 2022 rankings
  • 21 outfielders are listed, including the No. 1 player in the state
  • 5 players are committed to East Carolina and North Carolina State, the most of any schools
  • 6 Players in the top 20 are uncommitted
  • 29 players in the top 50 are uncommitted

 

Previewing the Top 10

RANK NAME SCHOOL CLASS POS COMMITMENT
1 Ryan Clifford Leesville Road 2022 OF
2 Carter Boyd Reagan 2022 RHP
3 Matthew Matthijs DH Conley 2022 RHP North Carolina
4 Calvert Clark Charlotte Christian 2022 OF Clemson
5 Michael Gupton Rolesville 2022 OF North Carolina State
6 Lukas Schramm Apex 2022 OF Kentucky
7 Eli Jerzembeck Providence 2022 RHP South Carolina
8 Michael Colonna Weddington 2022 RHP
9 Isaiah Lowe Christ School 2022 RHP Wake Forest
10 Judd Utermark Charlotte Christian 2022 3B Mississippi

CLICK HERE to see the entire Top 125 for North Carolina's Class of 2022.