2026 MLB Draft: Top 100 College Prospects

April 1, 2024

Building out a draft board is a complicated exercise. Our process involves meticulous detail in batted-ball data evaluation, switch decision tracking, pitch metrics, athletic testing and one-on-one interactions with the players as we work to get a feel for their makeup. We attend tournaments, showcases, scrimmages and games to watch the players in their element.

The whole process is complimented by extensive conversations with scouting directors, analysts, cross-checkers and area scouts to double-check our evaluations with differing opinions to help draw more conclusive ideas. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following rankings and evaluations by FSS PLUS are based on subjective analysis and industry sources, and do not influence, are not influenced by, or are affiliated with the opinions and reports of Future Stars Series scouting and development staff.

1. Drew Burress, OF — Georgia Tech

Big time favorite of Georgia area guys due to an advanced feel for hitting, as well as finding the barrel, Burress is one of the more beloved recruits in Georgia Tech history. Explosive hips and big bat speed help Burress generate power well beyond what you might expect from a smaller frame. Athletic, runs well and has plenty of arm for center field. Swing can get uppercut heavy when he really tries to lift the ball, but he’s hit at every stop.

Burress has some drift in his swing and inconsistencies in terms of direction depending on where the pitch is. He’ll step in the bucket at times despite loading from an open stance. It’s an oddity in terms of conventionalism at the plate, but Burress has been the most impactful player in the freshman class and it isn’t terribly close. The raw power is legit and so are the tools.

It’ll just come down to how he performs over the course of the next three years and how scouts buy into the operation. It’s without question, comfortably, first round talent.

2. Liam Peterson, RHP — Florida
HOMETOWN: Clearwater Beach, FL

Considered the premium pitching prize of the 2023 class, Peterson walked away from a lot of money to get to Gainesville. It’s a premium fastball that sits 94-96 touching 97 with running life late and carry, filling up the zone. Peterson has above average command for the pitch and likes to live on the corners at the top of the strike zone.

It’s been a highly effective pitch early in his collegiate career. Slider features high spin, resting 82-84 with late break and Peterson has shown the ability to manipulate shape. It’s another pitch with a strong command track record, his misses off the plate and his best offerings on the black low, glove-side. The breaking ball here is a real gem. He flashes a changeup at 85 with tumble and a mid-70’s bender as tertiary offerings.

Peterson has long levers, whippy, athletic actions, and a compact delivery with definitive starter traits. At this early stage, he looks like the top arm in the class for 2026.

3. Joey Volchko, RHP — Stanford

Everything about Vochko fits the “prototype”. It’s a 6-4, 215lb frame with a fastball that really explodes. Volchko generates plenty of carry on the heat, missing bats aplenty at the top of the zone. Up to 99 mph and consistently tickling the upper-90s in shorter outings, the floor is obvious.

He’s got two breaking balls, a low 90s slider being the more consistent two-plane weapon. Volchko is mostly in the upper-80s with the breaker in multi-inning showings. He’s shown good conviction and bite on a traditional slurvy bender too. There’s a bit more growing to do, and the operation will tighten up as he gets older, but the arm is loose and the whole arsenal works well.

Volchko turned down considerable money in the 2023 Draft and now appears primed to do well in 2026.

4. A.J. Gracia, OF — Duke
HOMETOWN: Tipton Falls, NJ

Gracia is a hitterish corner outfielder with a gap-to-gap approach and the ability to handle both spin and velocity. He’s admired for his sweet, smooth left-handed stroke and his approach in the box. He’s grown into considerable power during his first year at Duke and now projects to provide at least average power by the time he’s draft-eligible in 2026.

It’s a long, athletic body and longer levers that should add muscle and strength as he matures. Gracia has shown an elite approach early in his collegiate career with low chase rates and impressive contact rates, especially against right-handed pitching.

In the field, he’s a solid average runner with a fringe-average arm in a corner.

5. Cam Johnson, LHP — LSU
HOMETOWN: Upper Marlboro, MD

A famous arm going back to his high school days, Johnson was a 20th round pick by the Cardinals in 2023, but went unsigned. He is a big, physical lefty up to 98 with plenty of arm-side run and sink coming out of a deceptive, low slot.

It’s a barrel-breaking, ground ball inducing bowling ball. He’s begun spinning a better breaking ball on campus, a weapon against both-handed hitters. There’s also a fringy changeup that he’s thrown sparingly to right-handed hitters. Scouts are split on whether he’ll be able to start at the next level, but this is an out-getter with a big, strong, workhorse frame.

If the strikes and production are there he could go very early in 2026, especially as a southpaw.

6. Daniel Cuvet, 3B — Miami
HOMETOWN: Fort Lauderdale, FL

A 17th round pick by the Pirates in 2023, Cuvet has been on scouts’ radars for some time now. Cuvet fits the prototype power corner-infield profile in a nutshell.

It’s an imposing, high-waisted frame with elite bat speed and plus-plus raw power that will play frequently in-game. Plays light on his feet for his size and has the ability to attack the ball with confidence and arm strength behind it. Shows a real chance of sticking at 3B long term, with high level power projection if the frame doesn’t get too physical.

Scouts want to see Cuvet continue to refine the overall hit tool in order to meet his ceiling of a middle-of-the-order hitter, but the impact he’s shown since arriving to Miami is first round talent.

7. Roch Cholowsky, SS — UCLA
HOMETOWN: Chandler, AZ

In a very deep prep shortstop class in 2023, Cholowsky stood out as having some of the highest projectability in the class with supremely impressive talent on the defensive end. Long, athletic frame with tons of room for growth throughout with high level actions in the dirt, Chowlowsky continues to blossom into a more physical player. Great range moving laterally and has the arm strength to make every throw.

Hands stand out with both the glove and with the bat. Extremely hitterish in the box with advanced barrel control and ability to use the entire field. Scouts think he’ll eventually develop into some game power, but it’s mostly line drives to all fields thus far.

High level profile that should only continue to get better and could grow into a top of the first round player if the impact offensively comes along.

8. Kyle Johnson, OF/LHP — Duke
HOMETOWN: Leesburg, VA

Johnson is a really talented do-it-all prospect with tools scattered all over the field. He’s been up to 96 on the mound from the left side with a breaking ball that flashes. Most think his future will be on the bump, but at the plate he posts impressive exit velocities with the bat, though his game performances have been streaky.

Johnson has put on muscle since arriving to campus and has slowed down to just an average runner. In the field it’s a plus throwing arm. 

Tons of tools, tons of avenues toward impact. Defining how it all works best is next on the horizon.

9. Ethan McElvain, LHP — Vanderbilt
HOMETOWN: Thompsons Station, TN

McElvain saw a massive jump in stuff and body heading into college shoving 96, sitting 93-95 with carry on the top rail, commanded glove-side. He’s worked into harnessing a mid-80s slider with swing-and-miss potential.

McElvain controls the body well and works down the mound with intent and athleticism. McElvain projects to throw in the mid-90s with added strength and maturation. He also adds in a bit of deception.

There’s a lot of runway ahead of McElvain to grow and establish himself as one of the top college arms in the 2026 class. His best pitches are ahead of him.

10. TJ Pompey, SS — Texas Tech
HOMETOWN: Fort Worth, TX

Pompey has played some shortstop and second basef, but looks best suited for the outfield in the long run where his longer, physical frame and range will play nicely.

The bat has taken a considerable step on campus with more raw power and a better approach. Pompey burst onto the scene as a true freshman showcasing significantly more strength. Moves really well for his size, has some lateral burst.

Pompey is still growing into his frame and strength. The quirks in his swing should iron themselves out naturally as he gains body control, though Pompey is impacting the baseball and posting impressive numbers in Lubbock.

The test over time on Pompey will be the overall hit tool, but there’s unique size, athleticism and first round tools.

MORE 2024 COVERAGE: Mock Draft 1.0

Joe Doyle
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