Prep Baseball Report

VA/DC 2026 Rankings Update: Pitcher New Faces

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With a rankings update comes new faces entering the rankings. The 2026 class sat at 75 players in the last update in September, and we will now expand by 25 to make it the Top 100 ranked players. 

Today we will feature five pitchers that will make their way into the ranks this week.


New Faces: 

*alphabetical order*

Jake Cozart LHP / 1B / Hickory, VA / 2026

Sign me up for this 2026 arm. 6-foot-3, square shoulders, proportional strength, projection left, good mover, and arm works. Fastball usually sits low 80's and there is plenty more there as he matures. Biggest separator outside of the projection is Cozart's ability to throw two quality secondary pitches for strikes. Depth on the breaking ball and feel for a fading changeup. The breaking ball is a tough soft, but solid shape and feel with plenty of time for it to firm up. The Hawks should bolster plenty of depth on the mound this spring and beyond, with Cozart being a name to watch in the Hawks' future successes. 



Aaron Dierks RHP / 1B / West Springfield, VA / 2026

6-foot-3, 195-pounds and plenty of projection left. Dierks usually stays in the mid 80's and has shown the ability to run it up to the upper 8's. Longer arm action that gets deep on the backside before a whippy and quick arm through the release. Advanced hand and arm speed through release with plenty of intent to the delivery. Right now there is more reliever, power arm feel to the makeup with developing secondary. Control over command and brings everything at hitters with above normal effort. 



Adam Gessler RHP / OF / Culpeper , VA / 2026

Long and lanky 6-foot-5 frame with room to fill. Normal effort delivery, sits lower in the backside getting down the mound, and average arm speed. Gessler mostly works low 80's when we have seen him, but has gotten into the mid 80's at times. Breaking ball has shown 11/5 shape and a solid feel for the pitch. There is some maturity to the physical makeup, so how much projection is left is still to be determined, but the sophomore right hander has taken some steps in the right direction since the late spring. 



Dylan Herr RHP / SS / Lightridge, VA / 2026

Herr was one of the more fun arms to watch at the Mid-Atlantic State Games. Thin, athletic, good mover, and arm worked well. There is plenty of room to fill in the thin and lanky frame. Most importantly, Herr showed an advanced ability to throw two secondary pitches for strikes. The curveball got up to 2,738 RPM, landed it more than 50% in a tight and true Trackman zone, and big time depth on the curveball (<-14.3" IVB). Really came away impressed with his ability to spin it whenever he wanted and the secondary will give him plenty of time for the fastball velo to take some steps forward. 



Bryce Tolbert LHP / 1B / Jefferson Forest, VA / 2026

If you are looking for a big, funky, projection left handed arm, look no further than Bryce Tolbert. 6-foot-3, long levers, whippy arm action, and a different look. Some deception to the delivery, lands pretty heavily closed off, and works from a higher three-quarter slot with a whippy release. The fastball sits in the low 80's with some downhill plane and has flashed some ability to work the fastball in on right handed hitters. Very intriguing projection arm to follow in the future.