RANKINGS UPDATE: Class of 2026
September 5, 2023
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After a full summer saw our team scour the state and parts of the nation for players, we were able to see many players in tournaments, showcases, game-play events, workouts and more giving us a deeper feel for the Class of 2026 in California.
As a result of all the visibility to players in the last couple of months we have updated our Class of 2026 Player Rankings.
While most of the big changes occurred outside of the Top 10, we have expanded the rankings from 100 to 150 players to better encompass the depth of the class. Some players are on a very fast rise up the rankings after putting together outstanding summer seasons and look to carry that into the fall and beyond.
This class is now less than a year away from any MLB Draft consideration, and while several players are already firmly entrenched in that discussion for scouts, some new faces are beginning to make themselves known.
Below you'll find the Top 10, Top 10 Uncommitted Players, along with notes/video on several Rankings Risers.
CLASS OF 2026 TOP TEN
There was some shuffling in the Top 10 with the addition of Dax Hardcastle in the No. 4 spot. With that exception, the Top 10 players remain the same though some have shuffled positions.
|1||Alex Harrington||SS||Cathedral Catholic||Stanford|
|2||Quentin Young||SS||Oaks Christian|
|4||Dax Hardcastle||1B/RHP||St. Mary’s|
|5||James Tronstein||OF||Harvard Westlake||Stanford|
|9||CJ Weinstein||INF||Huntington Beach|
|10||Blake Bowen||OF||King||Oregon State|
CLASS OF 2026 TOP UNCOMMITTED
Below are the top ranked uncommitted players outside of the Top 25 players in the state.
|27||Warren Gravely||C/RHP||Santa Margarita|
|29||Taytum Reeves||C||Paloma Valley|
|35||Gino Cappellazzo||C/RHP||St. Francis|
|36||Cooper Sides||RHP||Red Bluff|
|37||Justin Romero||RHP||South Hills|
|40||Brayden Charness||LHP||Sierra Canyon|
CLASS OF 2026 RANKINGS RISERS
Many players have seen their rankings rise after very strong summers in which their performances have elevated them amongst the best in the state.
Justin Lopez 2B / SS / Orange Lutheran , CA / 2026
Rankings StateRank: 44 / POS: 2
A finalist for Future Games MVP, Lopez showed on the biggest stage what he had been doing all summer. A doubles machine, four of Lopez’s five hits were for extra bases at the Future Games. That was just a continuation of what he did at the PBR Summer Championships a couple weeks before where he had over 10 hits in the four game event. While the bat has made the type of gains from a power standpoint that you want to see, it’s the immaculate defense at shortstop that has impressed the most. Regardless of the compact frame, Lopez has proven to be a playmaker both defensively and offensively.
Dax Hardcastle RHP / 3B / St. Mary's, CA / 2026
A two-way standout, it’s way to early to predict whether the physical young Hardcastle will be a slugging corner man (1B/3B) or a power pitcher. Presently, relative to his peers in the 2026 class, he’s BOTH. As impressive as his 86-89 mph was at the tryout, he went further up the velo ladder at ACG, showing 90-92 mph stuff with 2545 max spin. He complements the heater (which has angry riding action) with a steep CB at 76-78 mph and also possesses a 78-81 mph CHG. Those are just the numbers. Watching him compete you also see the competitive make-up and confidence, mound presence. Put him in the batters box and those same competitive make-up traits show up, as does an extremely mature approach for his age. Physical RHH with power to all fields. Loud contact.
Logan Steenburgen RHP / OF / El Dorado, CA / 2026
Rankings StateRank: 83 / POS: 14
At 6-foot-3, 195-pounds the frame immediately stands out with Steenburgen and his play on the field is beginning to demand your attention as well. An Uber-competitive OF/RHP, Steenburgen plays with his hair on fire whether on the mound or in the box. He’s aggressive at the dish and flashes the type of raw power that you can dream on. Consistent barrels with all-fields feel and present pull side pop, Steenburgen takes what he’s given and looks to do damage. On the mound he showed incredible mental toughness at the CA State Games. After giving up a leadoff triple, he proceeded to get two strikeouts and a groundout to strand the runner at third.
Jensen Hirschkorn RHP / Kingsburg, CA / 2026
Rankings StateRank: 15 / POS: 5
Long and lanky (6-foot-5, 180-lbs), he took the mound at the ACG tryout with name recognition, given his twin brothers in the 2024 class, and his father being head coach at Fresno Pacific U. Well, after his pitching session he’s made his own name and is among the intriguing RHPs we’ve seen in the class thus far. The FB peaked at 88 mph and frankly it looked like he was throwing at about 65% effort. Big overhand CB (70-71 mph) and feel of a 74-75 mph CHG. It’s not hard to envision Hirschkorn being one of the hardest throwers in the state in his class down the road. Presently he’s prepping for his hoops season, so we will look forward to seeing him in the spring.
Jacob Oropeza RHP / 1B / La Mirada, CA / 2026
Rankings StateRank: 95 / POS: 19
A two-way player for La Mirada, Oropeza was very impressive at the CA State Games earlier this summer where he showed his high ceiling. On the mound he attacked hitters with a three-pitch mix (FB/SL/CH) that led to him striking out the side on just 14 pitches. The CH flashes above average movement and projects to be a plus pitch in the future. At the plate the 6-foot-2, 200 pounder uses that frame to it’s ability. With multiple hits in the event, it was the missile to the RCF gap that was 92 mph off the bat that drew all the oohs from the players.
Warren Gravely C / RHP / Santa Margarita Catholic , CA / 2026
A NorCal transplant now enrolled at Santa Margarita, Gravely has been a known name in PBR circles for some time. At a strong 6-foot, 180-pounds, Gravely shows ineriguinging two way tools. With a fastball up to 87 mph that dominates the top of the zone that he pairs with a sharp (11/5) curveball and changeup that dives away from lefties, you see Gravely is an intriguing pitching prospect. When you watch him hit, with his aggressive pull side approach and consistent barrels with developing power, you see Gravely is an intriguing hitting prospect. Wherever Gravely ends up playing in the future, he is almost certain to play positions for the next few years.
Chase Gordon LHP / 1B / St. Ignatius Prep, CA / 2026
Rankings StateRank: 101 / POS: 4
St. Ignatius had a season for the ages (for the program), coming on strong at the end of the season and competing well in the CCS playoffs, then being placed in the CIF-D2 NorCal Playoffs and ultimately defeating Casa Grande 3-0 to win the regional. On the way to their strong finish, a freshman left-hander was in the middle of many big wins, growing up quickly under the pressure of big games. Gordon is a lanky 6-foot-1ish 160-lb left-hander, with outstanding instincts and feel for the game. Low-80s stuff, mixes well, like a seasoned pitcher. Late life on multiple pitches, commands delivery with high level athleticism. Lively arm action, mound presense and composure are strong assets. With weight and strength, given his tangible and intangible assets, the ceiling is clearly high. Pitching in the cauldron that is the WCAL, he's going to be tested and seems up to the task.
Koen Guernsey C / RHP / Woodcreek, CA / 2026
Rankings StateRank: 110 / POS: 22
The two-way player recently stood out at The Rock Scout Day, as a LHH catcher and right-handed pitcher. Lean and athletic at 6-foot-1 165-lbs, there is lots of exciting growth and development of him. The raw strength and raw tools aren’t eye-popping quite yet, but the tools relative to talent and skill, they ARE present. Pop times consistent and competitive in the 2.12-2.15 range, arm near 70 mph. Produced exit velocity up to 87 mph in th BP, again, not massive but he’s going to get stronger and the stroke plays well to the opposite field. On the mound the FB was in the upper-70s, showing steep angle at times to the bottom of the zone. Also showed feel of a big 11/6 CB.
|NorCal Underclass Games||CA||09/30||Islanders Field|
|SoCal Underclass Games (OC)||CA||10/01||Hart Park|
|NorCal Uncommitted Games||CA||10/08||Chabot College|
|SoCal Uncommitted Games||CA||10/08||Fullerton College|
MORE PREP BASEBALL NEWS
- CA PBR California 2023 Leaderboards: Fastball 11/28/23
- CA Class of 2024 Rankings Update 11/15/23
- CA San Diego Fall ID: Positional Leaderboards 11/13/23
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- CA San Diego Fall ID: TrackMan Hitting Leaderboards 11/08/23
- CA NorCal Underclass Game: Pitcher Reports 11/08/23
- CA San Diego Fall ID: Quick Hits 11/06/23
- CA SoCal Underclass Games: Outfielder Reports 11/06/23
- CA NorCal Underclass Game: INF/OF Reports 11/02/23
- CA NorCal Uncommitted Spotlights 11/01/23