Prep Baseball Report

VA/DC 2026 Rankings Update: Top 50

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It is with great excitement that we release to you today, our first update to the VA/DC Class of 2026 rankings with our Top 50 release. Following today's Top 50 release, we will unveil the Top 100 on Thursday. Throughout this week we have highlighted new faces, risers, and players whose stock has taken a jump in the past few months. 

Now today we turn our attention to the Top 50, including the Top 10 list below. To go along with the Top 10, we would like to highlight a few players that have made some moves.

While we highlighted Virginia commit Daniel Nienaber, at the time the new #1, in our last update in August, we wanted to point out that there has been no movement with the top two spots. Nienaber will stay at the top spot, while Duke commit Bryant James holds down the #2 position. 

There were a few players that we have highlighted in our High & Tight podcast that will be released later today, so make sure to tune in to hear about more talent in the 2026 class.

The first player we would like to highlight is the new #3 player, Lawson McLeod. The Trinity Episcopal right hander moves up four spots after a strong showing in October at the Canes Scout Day. 6-foot-5, 200-pound frame with some present strength and still has some room to add. Above average raw spin to the fastball and some ride on the 88-90 mph fastball. He touched 91 in a somewhat extended bullpen where he showcase some pretty high end arm speed. The secondary is firm with average feel for spin and showed solid feel for a very firm changeup (86-88). McLeod has a chance to be part of one of the best underclass 1-2 punches in the state, with he and German taking the brunt of the innings at Trinity this spring.

Another name to know is Ben Drinkwine. The physical right handed bat from Lightridge HS showed an improved barrel rate, tremendous bat speed that was up to 82.9 mph, and big arm strength in the outfield. 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame with present strength to middle and pull and power potential to all fields in his future. While it is a corner outfield profile, the bat is just too hard to turn away from. There is big power potential in his future and he is an above average athlete, especially considering the XL frame. A starter as a freshman, Drinkwine should once again be in the middle of a pretty solid offensive lineup at Lightridge.

Halifax outfielder Logan Clark remains in the Top 25 after a strong showing at Mid-Atlantic State Games. Loud tools for the two-way talent out of southwest Virginia. Above average runner, high end arm strength from the outfield, above average raw arm strength on the mound, advanced power at the plate, high end hand and bat speed, and a lean and athletic 6-foot-1 frame. Clark, on the mound and at the plate, gets pretty tall in his movements, creating some loft at the plate that carries to both gaps. As far as the mound goes, if there is anything you know about Halifax Comet baseball, it is that they know how to develop arms. Slightly above normal effort, works from a higher three-quarter arm slot, and has a fastball that was up to 88 at State Games. There is polish to add on the mound, but the raw tools there, and everywhere else, are hard to miss.

VA/DC Class of 2026 Top 10

1 Daniel Nienaber VA Glen Allen 2026 RHP Virginia
2 Bryant James VA Gonzaga 2026 SS Duke
3 Lawson McLeod VA Trinity Episcopal 2026 RHP
4 Jason Kruczek VA Bishop O'Connell 2026 RHP East Carolina
5 Connor Quill VA Tuscarora 2026 3B Virginia Tech
6 Barrett Bucholz VA Atlee 2026 C Virginia
7 Oscar Hickey VA St. Anne's Belfield 2026 OF
8 Mandela Browman VA Miller School 2026 OF
9 Jayden Davis VA Amherst County 2026 RHP/OF
10 Tristan Lange VA North Cross 2026 RHP

VA/DC 2026 Top 50 Rankings