2026 MLB Draft: Top 100 High School Prospects

January 24, 2024

The 2026 MLB Draft is 30 months out, but even at this early stage, some players are beginning to separate themselves from the pack in a number of measurable ways. This list is by no means a list of the “best players” in the 2026 class. Instead, it takes into account numerous variables that are hard at work in every Draft. This board takes into account the physical projection of a player, the age of a player, the trajectory of each player’s tools and what it could look like when July 2026 rolls around. A player throwing the hardest or a hitter with the biggest exit velocities at this early stage isn’t necessarily a good thing. It certainly doesn’t hurt, but it’s part of a larger puzzle. We’re looking for trait development, twitch, and athleticism at this age.

This board was largely created through the lens of film study, data/metrics study and conversations with industry personnel. Not every player on this board was seen in live action by our team, but we trust the people in our network and their evaluation skills. It’s a starting block, but a starting block built on a foundation of consistent process and review.

Building out a draft board is a complicated exercise. Our process involves meticulous detail in batted-ball data evaluation, swing 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. GRADY EMERSON, SS — Argyle
HOMETOWN: Argyle, TX
HEIGHT: 6-1
WEIGHT: 176
BAT/THROW: L/R
COMMITMENT: TCU

Emerson is what they look like. Offensively, it’s pretty loud tools. Setup from a wide base, Emerson displays strong balance and rhythm in a simple swing with huge bat speed on the back end. Emerson’s swing can get steep at times, but his attack angle allows him to cover and ambush pitches at the bottom of the zone better than most of his peers. It’s power to all fields and a hit tool that is distinguished against upper-level competition. Emerson doesn’t strike out, though he hardly chases walks either. The total product offensively has considerable upside with impact ceiling at the next level.

Emerson is an above average runner with long strides and an athletic gait who should hold his speed as he ages. It’s already a reasonably physical frame for his age, so he may ultimately settle in a solid average runner. In any case, he certainly won’t be any sort of liability on the base paths and will likely add value in that department in some capacity as well. Emerson has a plus throwing arm with whippy action and carry across the dirt. It’ll serve him well as he figures to stay on the left side of the infield. He’s also been up to 90 mph on the mound. Emerson checks just about every box scouts look for in a player at this stage. He will be 18.5 years old on draft day.


2. BRADY HARRIS, OF — Trinity Christian Academy
HOMETOWN: St. Augustine, FL
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 180
BAT/THROW: R/R
COMMITMENT: Florida

Harris has huge offensive upside with more bat speed than most of his peers. He creates a ton of space in the box with a long stride and good direction with a hit tool and game power that plays to all fields. Harris has a long, physical frame that should continue to add good weight and physicality as he ages. He looks the part of a future middle-of-the-order bat. There’s presently some swing and miss in Harris’ game, likely stemming from inconsistent triggers in his swing and a stride that can create multiple planes for his upper half. That figures to sort itself out over time.

Defensively he is a rangy outfielder with above average arm strength and solid average foot speed. His footwork is already fundamentally sound including and a crow hop more advanced than most several years his age. Harris has a quick transfer and release and has the makings of a potential above average defensive right fielder. He’ll need to cut down on the strikeouts and overall swing and miss. If he does as July 2026 approaches he could be one of the first few preps off the board. He will be 18.7 years old on draft day.


3. JACOB LOMBARD, SS — Gulliver Prep
HOMETOWN: Pinecrest, FL
HEIGHT: 6-1
WEIGHT: 178
BAT/THROW: R/R
COMMITMENT: Uncommitted

When Jacob Lombard’s older brother George was drafted in the first round by the New York Yankees in 2023, the bar was set. Three years later, Jacob has a chance to one-up his older brother. Lombard deploys an athletic, rhythmic setup at the plate with quick hands and a compact, short path through the zone. He has power and exit velocity potential to all fields and has been known to inside-out the ball into the right-center field gap with authority.

Lombard has become extra-physical over the past calendar year and now figures to eventually shift to third base at the next level like his brother. An average runner with average arm strength, Lombard’s profile is carried by the bat; albeit a potential big carrying tool.


4. ELI WILLITS, SS — Fort Cobb-Broxton
HOMETOWN: Fort Cobb, OK
HEIGHT: 6-1
WEIGHT: 175
BAT/THROW: B/R
COMMITMENT: Oklahoma

Eli Willits is a true switch-hitter in every sense of the word. Some guys fake it hitting from both sides and struggle from one side or the other. That’s not the case here. From the left side Willits features a tight, compact swing with quick hands and twitchy hips. He uses the whole field and has an adjustability with the barrel that few can match. There’s some moving parts in the load and some late barrel tilt that could test his ability to handle higher velocity arms, but to this point he’s impressed in tournament settings. Right now it’s mostly fringy raw power with ringing gap power. That said, Willits has a lean frame with the hands and projection you look for in a guy that could ultimately get to average or better raw power. From the right side it’s a bit more bat speed with louder results and a bit more opposite field power. The hit tool projects better from the left side, but he’s far from a liability as a right-handed hitter. Interesting offensive tools from both sides of the plate.

Willits looks every bit the part of a future shortstop too. He’s a rangy defender who has demonstrated the ability to get to any ball, excelling when coming in on the grass and making the play on slow-rollers in front of him. He can get his body into the athletic positions necessary to make just about every throw. He’s also an above average runner with long strides and a smooth gait that really projects to hold deep into professional ball. Willits has a chance to be one of the first players off the board if he adds a bit more impact at the plate. The tools are here for a special player. He will be 18.6 years old on draft day.


5. ALEX HARRINGTON, SS — Cathedral Catholic
HOMETOWN: San Diego, CA
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 178
BAT/THROW: R/R
COMMITMENT: Stanford

Harrington is one of the more premium athletes in the 2026 class buoyed by double-plus speed and plus arm strength; both of which really show up on the field. It’s not just frontline speed either; Harrington has an electric first step both on the dirt, as well as coming out of the batter’s box.

At the plate he shows off fast hands with a quick stroke and a line drive mentality into both gaps. It’s a wide base with a rhythmic cadence and long athleticism through the zone. There’s something of a Nolan Arenado feel to his mannerisms and operation in the box. It’s average power projection, though a ton of Harrington’s future value is already rooted in his speed and defensive prowess. Harrington can get into some trouble in games when he gets pull-happy, but for the most part he’s shown a polished, mature approach toward hitting. The whole package here is very exciting and refined with projectable twitch and upside in the athlete. Harrington is committed to Stanford and will be 19.2 years old on draft day.


6. KEON JOHNSON, SS — First Presbyterian Day
HOMETOWN: Macon, GA
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 195
BAT/THROW: R/R
COMMITMENT: Uncommitted

Johnson is a barrel-chested middle infielder with a loud stroke at the plate and budding power on the way. He aims to lift the ball and drive the ball over the left-center field fence every chance he gets, and the game power is already playing. Despite this approach, Johnson has shown a more polished approach at the plate than some of his peers keeping his strikeouts lower and his walks high. The pull-side emphasis is certainly here, but it’s more pull-side gaps than it is towering fly balls hit at the foul pole. Johnson plays a more mature brand of baseball than you’d anticipate watching his ringing batting practice sessions.

In terms of the athletic traits, he’s an above average runner with a plus arm that more than carries through the first base bag. The body may ultimately force him to third base, though his tools play quite well at the hot corner. Johnson is a physical specimen who can make things happen at the plate. He’ll turn 18 years old just a few months before the draft, making him an appealing model option in July.


7. TYLER SPANGLER, 3B — De La Salle
HOMETOWN: Danville, CA
HEIGHT: 6-4
WEIGHT: 188
BAT/THROW: L/R
COMMITMENT: Stanford

Spangler certainly looks the part. A 6-foot-4-inch infielder with long limbs and a high waist, Spanger presents a ton of physical projection, present maturity and strength, especially compared to his peers at this stage. He’s got a sweet left-handed swing featuring plenty of bat speed and pull-side loft. There’s a whole lot more in the tank on the way. It’s an even, wide base with a quiet load and simple swing that projects to hit going forward. This is a kid who could hit for both average and power.

Defensively, Spangler works low to the ground and rounds through the ball well. He possesses average arm strength and should be able to handle third base if he outgrows the shortstop position. Just a lot of polish here with physical impact upside on the way. Spangler is committed to Stanford, a school notoriously difficult to pay players away from. He will be 18.9 years old on draft day.


 

7. DILLON MOSS, C — IMG Academy
HOMETOWN: Atherton, CA
HEIGHT: 6-0
WEIGHT: 176
BAT/THROW: R/R
COMMITMENT: Stanford

Dillon Moss is a wiry, explosive catching prospect with twitchiness in his swing and athletic actions. He’s a guy that really leverages hard into his back side, transferring his weight with authority and getting violent through the zone with spring-loaded hips a la Andrew McCutchen. He’s tinkered a bit with his swing and setup of late, but hardly ever gets cheated and seems to always put a charge into the baseball. There’s power to the opposite field too. He’ll shorten up and lace pitches into right-center with two strikes with quick wrists that can get to every quadrant. There’s a comfort and quiet confidence Moss presents in the batters box that really makes it difficult to pitch to him.

He’s an average runner now, but that is likely to change in one direction or the other as he continues to add mass and strength in his lower half. Moss is the younger brother of 2025 star draft prospect Dean Moss. He will be 18.7 on draft day and is expected to be a difficult sign away from Stanford, as most Stanford commits tend to be.


9. KEVIN ROBERTS JR., RHP/OF — Jackson Preparatory
HOMETOWN: Meridian, MS
HEIGHT: 6-6
WEIGHT: 209
BAT/THROW: R/R
COMMITMENT: Uncommitted

Kevin Roberts Jr. is a physical two-way specimen with some of the most powerful upside of anybody in the 2026 class. It’s an ultra-long 6-foot-6-inch frame featuring a high waist and lean, lanky strength spread throughout. Roberts has broad shoulders and a strong lower half that point toward further strength on the way. Scouts are split on where his highest ceiling lays. On the mound he’s been up to 92 mph with loose, whippy arm strength and good balance for a pitcher his age. He’ll flip in a budding breaking ball with solid depth as well. There’s a fringier changeup that has been a point of emphasis in his development for the last year.

Offensively, it’s a power-over-hit profile, though present bat-to-ball skills are here. Roberts sinks and drifts into his back hip, leveraging the ground well to create power. He’s a patient hitter who draws his walks, though he can get out in front of spin. That said, he’s shown the ability to keep his hands back long enough to survive and keep an at-bat going.

In the field, it’s above average arm strength with fringy speed, likely destined for right field where he projects an average defender. There’s something of a Jorge Soler profile here. A two-sport star, Roberts excels on the basketball court as well. He’ll turn 18 years old right around the day of the draft. Models should push his profile up the board provided he continues on the positive linear ascent scouts have seen to this point.


10. ROOKIE SHEPARD, SS — Faith Lutheran
HOMETOWN: North Las Vegas, NV
HEIGHT: 5-11
WEIGHT: 172
BAT/THROW: L-R
COMMITMENT: Miami

“Rookie” can really hit. That’s abundantly clear when looking at his baseball card. It’s tremendous bat-to-ball skills with an all-fields approach. He really lets the ball travel deep into the zone and has been known to pepper the left-center field gap with authority, especially against velocity and backdoor spin. It’s likely no more than fringe-average power, but the hit tool combined with above average foot speed wreaks havoc on opposing pitchers. Most simply don’t have an approach toward getting him out.

Shepard doesn’t have a definitive defensive home at this stage, though most scouts tend to slot him in at second base or the outfield at the next level. He’s played his fair share behind the plate and at shortstop, though neither is a natural fit in pro ball. Shepard has a good internal clock and soft hands and can throw off multiple planes. From this chair, he looks like a natural fit for second base. Shepard is a good athlete with twitchy actions and budding athleticism. He’ll derive his value from producing high on-base numbers and batting averages at the next level, sprinkling in some impact in other ways. Shepard will be 18.7 years old on draft day.



MORE 2026 COVERAGE: Top College Prospects for the 2026 Draft


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