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Updated Class of 2020 Rankings - North Carolina


Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting

The spring season is just past the half way point and PBR’s staff is continuing to evaluate players from across North Carolina.  When looking at the 2020 class, it is still very early in their process, but in our updated and expanded rankings, 18 of the top 100 are committed. 

Liam Norris (LHP, Green Hope HS) remains in the top spot.  Norris has continued to improve with each season, climbing toward his extremely high ceiling.  Green Hope HS had the honor or representing North Carolina in USA Baseball’s 2018 National High School Invitational.  Facing some of the top teams in the country, Green Hope made a run to the title game.  Norris threw in game one flashing a fastball up to 93 and a sharp curveball, striking out 9.  A North Carolina commit, Norris will be a high follow on the national circuit for the coming years.

Nolan McLean (C/RHP, Garner HS) and Austin St. Laurent (SS/RHP, Western Alamance HS) remain in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots respectively.  McLean, a two-sport star at Garner where he plays QB in the fall, is a potential dual player at the college level as the bat and arm grade out well.  The arm strength and athleticism move him to a potential elite catching prospect.  While there is still a need for polish, he has a great grasp for the game and leadership ability that allows the pitchers he is receiving to tick up with him behind the plate.  St. Laurent is an advanced defender with plenty of arm strength to stay on the left side for the foreseeable future.  It is defense over offense right now, but St. Laurent has some feel for the barrel and quickness in the body.  The arm strength translates to the mound, where he could probably project to be a dual guy at the college level, however the defensive skills at short may keep him there full time.

The big riser into the top 5 is Preston Hall (3B, Stuart Cramer HS), a left handed hitter with future power potential.  A good enough athlete to play both corner infield and outfield spots, he may project to be an offensive second baseman as he continues to develop as well.  The bat plays ahead of the defense and really stands out in BP.  Some swing and miss exists in games right now, but as Hall continues to add strength to his frame, even a miss down the barrel could do damage.

(Preston Hall - January 2018)

 

Inside the top 10, only 3 remain uncommitted at this time, including McLean and Hall.  Colton Stotler (INF, West Wilkes HS) comes in at No. 10 and presents a quality hit tool from both sides of the plate.  Defensively, he is still working to grow into his frame, but there is quickness and the ball has carry out of the hand.  Uncommitted, schools will be following his progress as he works his way through his summer.

(Colton Stotler - January 2018)

 

Of the committed players, UNC has 5, NC State has 4, and ECU leads the way with 6 commitments.  UNC Wilmington, Clemson, and Kentucky have each landed one player in the updated 2020 rankings.  The number of committed players in the 2020 class will continue to tick forward as represented in the classes ahead.  The 2019 class, in North Carolina, has 62 current commitments and the 2018 class has 332 players committed to play college baseball.

Over the fall, winter, and spring, PBR attended games, practices, and ran events.  Through this process, there are several new comers to the 2020 rankings.  Jake Soorus (OF/INF, North Lincoln HS) checks in at No. 24 and impressed with his bat and arm strength at the Winter Future Game Trials.  Maxwell Doherty (C, Lake Norman Charter) attended the same event showing advanced skills behind the plate with a chance to drive the baseball on the offensive end.  Doherty lands at No. 33.  Andrei Beal (RHP, Parkwood HS) may have made the biggest jump in the rankings from No. 72 to No. 45 after his workout at the Preseason All-State event in January.  Beal’s fastball peaked at 86 from a short arm circle and over-the-top release. 

(Andrei Beal - January 2018)

 

In order to put the rankings together, PBR utilizes information from PBR scouts, college coaches, and professional scouts.  The staff at PBR works to put a grade on every player seen, as well as a confidence rating on that grade.  Players are sorted by the player grade prior to being discussed and eventually ranked.  As the PBR staff continues to work, the rankings will continue to be updated with each season.  Below is a sneak peak at the Top 10 players in the updated and expanded Class of 2020 Player Rankings.  To see the entire ranking, make sure you are logged in and click the link below.  Each player’s name will link back to the player’s profile where any information PBR has on the player is updated on the profile page.

North Carolina Class of 2020

Rank Name School Pos Commitment
1 Liam Norris Green Hope LHP North Carolina
2 Nolan McLean Garner C/RHP  
3 Austin St. Laurent Western Alamance SS/RHP East Carolina
4 Preston Hall Stuart Cramer 3B  
5 Jake Harwood Whiteville SS Clemson
6 Hayden Summers Northwest Guilford RHP/SS North Carolina
7 Coby Ingle Rockingham County RHP North Carolina State
8 Travis Hamrick Watagua RHP North Carolina
9 Connor Monroe West Forsyth RHP North Carolina State
10 Colton Stotler West Wilkes SS  

 

To View the entire Top 100 of the Class of 2020, log in and CLICK HERE.