Alabama Class of 2026 Rankings: Official Release
September 6, 2023
After a busy summer full of events, the Class of 2026 Player Rankings is long overdue for an update as these players have just started their sophomore years. There were a ton of new names who entered into the fold, as well as a number of others who continue to elevate their game, warranting plenty of movement and expansion (now 75 players) to the list. Most of the same names are still inside the Top-10 from the last update, but there's some shakeup within.
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The Top-10 in the Class of 2026
+ SS Steele Hall (Hewitt-Trussville, 2026) remains at the top of the list in this update and in front some elite caliber prospects, but the resume the sophomore has built over the past couple of years continues to speak volumes and is hard to ignore. Listed at 5-foot-11, 155-pounds with lean athleticism to the build, the Tennessee recruit plays with a confidence and a swagger that immediately jumps out and certainly backs it up with his play. The right-handed bat has shown flashes of power with good bat-to-ball ability and a quick first step out of the box, and flashes an elite glove up the middle with a strong arm. See his report from this spring below:
"Hall (Daphne, 2026) was one of the “buzziest” names coming into this event and exceeded expectations once again with a stellar showing throughout the weekend. Standing a still lean and athletic 5-foot-11, 155-pounds with tons of physical development and maturation to come in the next few years, the Tennessee recruit and No. 1-ranked prospect in the freshman class in AL showed and excelled in all facets of the game. Kicking off the weekend on Day 1, the middle infielder wasted no time producing at the top of the Trojans’ order driving home five runs in their contest, four of which came on a no-doubt, grand slam well over the left-field fence in his final at-bat of the night. Continuing to swing it well throughout the weekend, Hall went on to record a hit in all four games in addition to a pair of doubles. On the weekend, the freshman hit .462 (6-for-13) with a HR, two 2B’s, and seven RBI’s. Hall stays simple throughout his operation with a quick stride back to square and has excellent feel for the barrel with really quick hands from the right side of the plate. The power he has shown early throughout his young career should only provide a glimpse of what is to come in the future as he continues to fill out his frame. Advanced in all facets of his game for his age, Hall is also one of the top defenders in his class throughout the country with athletic, smooth actions with already a strong arm across the infield. While also recording a save against a 7A opponent, the freshman hopped on the mound and pumped 88-91 mph to both halves of the plate while tunneling a low-70’s slider with late bite as a primary secondary pitch. It’s eye-opening to see a player of his age so advanced and talented right now, and we’re extremely excited to see the progress he continues to make over the next 3 ½ years of his high school career after taking over the starting shortstop position at Daphne during his seventh-grade year."
SS Steele Hall (2/25/23)
+ C John Stowers (St. Paul's Episcopal, 2026) stays put at No. 2 in this update after continuing to flash one of the best left-handed bats in the class this spring and summer. Listed at 6-foot-0, 185-pounds, the Auburn recruit continues to improve his already strong build, and looks even more like a future middle-of-the-order hitter at the next level. Using an uphill plane and slight lift in the swing, the left-hander produces high exit velocities with plenty of bat speed and barrel accuracy. He continues to produce in-game offensively, and has quality catch-and-throw skills from behind the dish. See his report from this spring below:
"Stowers (St. Paul's Episcopal, 2026) is already regarded as one of the top prospects in the young freshman class and continued to show his ability to make a significant impact at the varsity level. Hitting in the two-hole of a talented lineup, the Auburn recruit provided a glimpse of what is surely to come in the future displaying immense power to all fields in yesterday's viewing. Listed at 5-foot-11, 180-pounds, the freshman already has some present physical strength throughout his frame, but there's still tons of physical development to come in the next few years. While still being years away from a finished product, the left-hander already has advanced offensive ability at the plate and wasted no time showing it in yesterday's contest. After falling behind a bit in the count in his first at-bat, Stowers worked the count back to full and belted a no-doubt, two-run home run over the wall in right field to give the Saints an early lead. The freshman creates plenty of separation with his hands throughout his load that gives way to a strong barrel that works on an uphill path through the zone, resulting in higher volumes of power output even as a freshman. He has a smooth, easy stroke from the left side and still possesses tons of potential and upside in the coming years."
C John Stowers (6/8/23)
+ SS Jaxson Wood (Hoover, 2026) is another elite caliber infielder in the sophomore class in AL that stays put at No. 3 in this update after a strong spring and summer. Listed at 5-foot-9, 150-pounds, the Tennessee recruit plays much bigger than frame suggests and saw significant playing time as a freshman this spring for 7A powerhouse Hoover. Wood plays with tons of bounce and is a fearless athlete with the innate ability to consistently to deliver firm contact to all fields. He has good rhythm to his offensive operation and turns the barrel with tons of intent. See his report from this spring below:
"Wood (Hoover, 2026) has quickly become one of our favorite underclassmen to watch throughout the state simply due to the energy that brings to the game. On one of the top baseball programs in the state and in the southeast, the Tennessee recruit has found his way into the lineup playing some shortstop and hitting near the bottom of a talented order. Wood, the No. 3-ranked prospect in the freshman class in AL, took some strong cuts in Game 1 of the double-header yesterday while driving in a run and attempting to get a rally started in the final inning trailing by one. Slotted in the eight-spot in the order, the freshman delivered a firm single the other way on an elevated fastball up and away and made a noticeable adjustment keeping his weight back and letting the ball travel before sending an accurate barrel to contact. He has a fluid approach and swings it much bigger than his 5-foot-9, 150-pound frame would suggest with the ability to hit to all fields. He also added in an RBI sacrifice fly out earlier in the game on a liner to left field, and finished the contest going 1-for-2 with an RBI."
SS Jaxson Wood (8/5/23)
+ LHP/1B Will Adams (Hoover, 2026) is another young prospect that made a large impact for 7A powerhouse Hoover this past spring helping lead the rotation as a freshman. Staying put at No. 4 in this update, the Alabama recruit is a 6-foot-2, 195-pounder with plenty of strength to his build that he uses to impact the game on both sides. On the mound, Adams has been up to 89 mph in prior looks with impressive pitch-ability using a bigger 12-6 breaking ball for his primary secondary offering. Known as a pitcher right now after last spring, the left-hander can also swing it with power potential, as well. See his report from this spring below:
"Adams (Hoover, 2026) has been one of the more impactful freshmen across the state of AL in the first half of the spring and had not allowed a run heading into his start yesterday. To show just how impressive the freshman has been on the mound so far, Adams, the No. 4-ranked prospect in the freshman class in AL, has had four starts this year and has accumulated 20 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 9 BB, & 40 Ks against a daunting schedule. Getting the start against the defending 7A State Champions in Game 1 of the double-header yesterday, the Alabama recruit was forced to work a bit more than he had been accustomed to over the first half of the season, but still delivered four strong innings and kept the Bucs within striking distance for the later innings. Listed at 6-foot-2, 195-pounds, Adams has some present strength and athleticism throughout his solidly-built frame. The southpaw ran his fastball up to 89 mph during yesterday’s start while sitting the majority of his outing at 84-87 mph, and seemed to jump out of the hand using a quick arm and a higher arm slot. He was able to command the pitch to his glove-side and down in the zone while still maintaining its plane through the zone. The freshman’s primary secondary offering was a slower breaking ball in the upper-60’s with 1-7 shape, and will only continue to improve as he develops. Adams exited after four innings and finished going 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 ER), 4 BB, & 4 Ks on 90 pitches, 53 of which were for strikes."
LHP/1B Will Adams (3/4/23)
+ 1B/RHP Wyatt Shelley (Headland, 2026) stays at No. 5 in this update, but the right-hander made a strong case to be even higher after the spring and summer he posted. Listed at 6-foot-3, 230-pounds, the Auburn recruit has cemented himself as one of the top right-handed power bats in the sophomore class in the country. Seeing him in our first in-depth look playing in the Class 3A State Championship series, the two-way prospect was highly-impressive with the bat with numerous big swings throughout the series. He impacts the baseball at such a high level with power to all fields, and can work into the upper-80's on the mound. See his report from this spring below:
"Shelley (Houston Academy, 2026) has quickly cemented himself as one of the best two-way prospects in the current freshman class, but the right-handed bat is what sticks out and makes him such an intriguing prospect. Listed at 6-foot-3, 230-pounds, the Auburn recruit possesses elite level power hitting from the right side and impacts the baseball at such a high level without much effort. Hitting in the heart of the order, the freshman jumps out immediately as a driving force for their offense and collected numerous key hits in their championship series, which they eventually won. The ball jumps off the barrel with power to all fields using a short, yet powerful right-handed stroke. Also possesses an 87-90 mph fastball to go along solid secondary offerings, making him an elite dual-threat. One of the top prospects in his class in the country.
1B/RHP Wyatt Shelley (6/8/23)
+ RHP/SS Jashaun Moten (Tuscaloosa County, 2026) comes in at No. 6 in this update in a class filled at the top with some high-level, two-way prospects, and Moten is certainly one of those. Listed at 6-foot-4, 190-pounds, the uncommitted right-hander is an elite athlete on both sides with a highly-projectable frame. On the mound, the right-hander has been up to 88 mph coming out of a higher arm slot with a sharp, high-spin slider for his primary secondary. The athleticism on the bump translates well to his right-handed swing, where he has a smooth path and gap-to-gap pop. See his report from this spring below:
"Moten (Tuscaloosa County, 2026) has been a prospect that we’ve been eager to see in a game-setting and was thoroughly impressive in a short relief stint retiring the heart of the a 7A order in a 3-3 contest in the 6th inning. Listed at 6-foot-2, 170-pounds with premium upside and athleticism, the freshman right-hander attacked hitters from a higher, over-the-top slot with a fastball that ranged 86-88 mph during his lone inning of work. Pounding the zone for the majority of his outing, Moten lived primarily off of the fastball, but mixed in a single slider at 77 mph (2450 rpm) that spins right and has the makings of being a quality secondary offering. Using a slower-paced delivery, the right-hander works down the mound well for a pitcher of his age and has a long and loose arm action that possesses some whip. Using a frame that will only continue to improve with strength over the next few years, more jumps are likely in the future and has easily established himself as one of the top right-handed arms in the young freshman class. Good one to keep close tabs on this spring playing for one of the top teams in Class 7A."
RHP/SS Jashaun Moten (2/25/23)
+ RHP Grant Hill (Chelsea, 2026) is coming off one of the more noteworthy summers out of anyone in the class, and makes a huge jump inside the Top-10 to No. 7 in this update. Standing 6-foot-3, 180-pounds, the uncommitted right-hander showed he was more than back to full-strength this summer in multiple viewings at LakePoint Sports where he delivered multiple quality outings. Using a highly-projectable build, Hill possesses a very athletic delivery and has a fastball that works in the mid-80's (T87 mph) right now, but there's still much more in the tank. The slider at 75-77 mph has shown flashes of being a future plus offering with late bite, and works well off the fastball. See his report from this summer below:
"Uncommitted. 6-foot-3, 180 pounds. One of the more athletic deliveries in our 15U national championship, Hill makes thing look easy on the mound. When he toes the bump, he expects to dominate. That’s exactly what he did, grabbing whiffs and weak contact on his steep FB/SL combo. With a long levered frame and clean full circle arm action that builds momentum gradually, the velocity projection in this arm is very serious. The FB will be his biggest weapon in the future, with his 6’9” release height being 1ft higher than MLB avg. it creates an incredibly steep plane for hitters to match, and his other FB metrics (VAA, spin, etc) say he should work almost exclusively down in the zone with it. Of course you have to change eye levels on hitters to keep the unpredictability there, but as you see in the video the SL doesn’t need a top of zone FB to tunnel with to be impactful. His confidence on the mound was fun to watch, as Hill goes out there with the expectation that no one is going to touch him. I love the mentality and look forward to scouting him more in the future."
RHP Grant Hill (7/12/23)
+ SS/RHP Levi Nickoli (Homewood, 2026) is yet another dynamic two-way prospect in the class that has plenty of upside on both sides of the ball. Another newcomer inside the Top-10, the Auburn recruit jumps up a few spots to No. 8 in this update. Listed at 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, the Auburn recruit is a good athlete with solid tools across the board. He possesses a quick stroke from both the right and left sides of the plate, and can work into the upper-80's on the mound with his fastball. See his report below:
"Nickoli (Homewood, 2026) continues to establish himself as one of the top young prospects in the state in the current freshman class, and is another dynamic two-way talent that impacts the game on both sides. Listed at 6-foot-0, 160-pounds, the Auburn recruit has an athletic, wiry frame with strength to add in the future. A true switch-hitter, the swing plays on both sides using quick, level path through contact. More of a line-drive hitter with a solid hit tool right now, there's plenty of power to come in the future. Possesses clean actions up the middle with above-average arm strength across the field. Also worked in the mid-to-upper-80's on the mound, and utilizes a sharp breaking ball as his primary secondary."
+ SS Andrew Petrock (Pelham, 2026) showed why he's regarded as one of the top prospects in the 2026 class in AL with a standout showing at the Birmingham Preseason ID in January, where he boasted an elite hit tool. Staying put at No. 9 in this update, the uncommitted infielder plays with high energy using his athletic 5-foot-8, 155-pound frame. He has a short, compact right-handed stroke with premium bat-to-ball abilities, which translate in-game where he consistently finds the barrel with nearly each swing. See his report from this year below:
"Petrock (Pelham, 2026) was a name to know coming into this event and certainly made a lasting impression in his PBR showcase debut. Ranked inside the Top-10 in the young freshman class, Petrock turned in a professional round of BP while hammering the back net of the cage with nearly every pass from the right side of the plate. Standing a narrow, upright stance, Petrock uses a simple stride to get back down on time and fires a quick and accurate barrel through the zone. The young freshman found firm contact with nearly every swing producing many upper-80's EV with a top EV at 91.7 mph. With a smaller frame that will continue to carry more strength over the next few years, he packs a punch in the right side of the box and is a definite prospect to follow in the coming years. Petrock has shown he has advanced abilities and should only continue to get better as he grows and matures into his frame."
SS Andrew Petrock (1/3/23)
+ SS Tate Johnston (St. Paul's Episcopal, 2026) rounds out the Top-10 at No. 10 and is another high-level infielder that has stood out in multiple viewings over the past year and a half. An Auburn recruit and former PBR Jr. Future Games attendee, the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder possesses a smooth left-handed stroke that can hit to all fields against all forms of arms. An above-average athlete, Johnston is a slick-fielding shortstop with solid arm strength across the diamond and can stick there in the future. See his report from this summer below:
"Johnston (St. Paul's Epsicopal, 2026) is regarded as one of the top left-handed bats in the rising sophomore class in AL, and showed why this weekend playing for Aces National. Listed at 5-foot-11, 165-pounds, the Auburn recruit is a lean, wiry athlete that projects to add more mass in the future, but can still impact the game on both ends with his athletic ability. Hitting from the left side, Johnston has a balanced, synced-up operation and uses a knob-led path through the zone that consistently delivers firm line drives to all fields. Equally adept up the middle, the rising sophomore shows lateral range moving to his left and right, and compliments it with an above-average arm across the infield. Top-10 prospect in the 2026 class in AL."
SS Tate Johnston (5/28/23)
|South Alabama Select||September 24th, 2023||The Performance Lab (Mobile, AL)|
|Southeast Senior Games (Invite-Only)||October 7th-8th, 2023||Jacksonville St./Choccolocco Park (Oxford, AL)|
|AL/MS Border Battle (Invite-Only)||October 14th-15th, 2023||Northeast Mississippi CC (Booneville, MS)|
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