Inside the Rankings: 2019 Newcomers

Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

The recent North Carolina Class of 2019 Rankings update expanded the list to the top 200 players in the state.  Prep Baseball Report’s staff continues to work to cover the entire state, bring player and team reports to college coaches, pro scouts, and high school baseball fans.


With the expansion to 200, 28 players were added to the rankings list.  The highest ranked new comer is at No. 56 with Trevor Marsh (OF, Asheboro HS).  An athletic outfielder, Marsh looked good  hitting leadoff for Five Star Baseball this fall.  Good hand-eye coordination and advanced speed make him suitable to stay at the top of a lineup, moving forward.  The swing allows him to leak down the line early, but he shows an ability to adjust to off-speed, while handling average velocity.  Defensively the routes are easy and there is enough speed to make up time on the baseball over his head. 

Noah Burnette (1B, Pisgah HS) and Carter Sheppard  (RHP/OF, Lake Norman HS) both carry a physical presence.  Burnette recently committed to Spartanburg Methodist after showing well at the Hub City Classic Showcase in November.  Using a leg kick, there is good bat speed and above average strength, producing elite exit velocity when on the barrel.  Sheppard is still growing into his body and the tools can be raw at times, but there is quickness and strength.   At the CBA Copperheads Scout Day with PBR, Sheppard touched 84 on the mound but peaked at 89 mph from right field.  Off the bat, the exit velocity touched 90.

(Carter Sheppard, 10/2017)


Two committed shortstops also show up in the Top 65 with Jac Croom (SS, New Hanover HS) at No. 61 and Jon Schuldt (SS, Hough HS) at No. 62.  Croom plans to stay close to home as he finishes his high school career, committing to UNC Wilmington.  Schuldt will be leaving the state as he plans to attend Coastal Carolina.  Both players have advanced feel for the game along with quickness in their body and could continue to shoot up the rankings as PBR’s staff continues to evaluate their progress.

Matthew Upchurch (LHP/OF, Lincoln Charter School) played very well in front of PBR’s staff in a Catawba Valley Showcase Tournament.  He followed that up with a solid performance at the PBR Western Piedmont Open Scout Day.  The left-handed pitcher uses a rhythmic delivery, loading his shoulders uphill as his lead hip works toward the line to produce arm speed.  The fastball ranged up to 84, showing at least average command as he worked into the bullpen.  In the batter’s box, the lefty has advanced feel for the barrel, using the whole field and showing carry to the pull side.  Upchurch also turned in a solid 7.18 sixty at the October event.

(Matthew Upchurch, 11/2017)


Inside the Rankings
+ 28 New Players added to the Top 200
+ 51 Players in the Rankings are committed
+ 77 Primary Pitchers are ranked in the Top 200
+ 29 Catchers are ranked in the Top 200
+ 26 Outfielders are ranked in the Top 200
+ 68 Infielders are ranked in the Top 200