Top Tools - Diving into Position Players in the 2026 Class
August 21, 2023
Indiana’s 2026 class is shaping up to be a deep crop of talent with plenty of promising prospects throughout the state. The class features major arm talent at the top of the 2026 rankings, however today we take a deeper look at some of the talented position players within this class. When evaluating position players, the five tools (Hit, Power, Glove, Arm, & Run) are all factored in when deciphering players against one another. There is no shortage of tools within this class, and even though these players are just beginning their sophomore year, some have already shown next-level tools in game & showcase settings. Today, we break down some of the top tools within an exciting class of prospects.
The hit tool is one of the toughest tools to project, especially at the younger ages. Swing mechanics, bat speed, comfortability against velocity, adjustability, consistent quality contact, and swing decisions are just a few of the traits that factor into projecting how a player will continue to progress in the batter’s box. The players listed below have all shown some of the traits listed above, and plenty more, showing some of the more advanced hit-tools in the class.
Simple operation allows for consistent hard contact. Had no problem against premium velocity at the 2023 PBR Future Games. Athleticism stands out in the box. Lean strength & twitch allows for impact, bat-to-ball skills are advanced. Premium foot-speed puts pressure on the defense & allows Bowen to take extra bases. Quiet confidence in the box.
Indiana recruit. Oozes confidence in the box. Has shown feel for the barrel since his JFG days. Swing works slightly uphill and gets to extension, uses the whole field. Hands are quick - allows for adjustability and comfort against velocity. Hit over .300 in the HCC as a freshman.
Kentucky recruit. Long-levered, left-handed hitter. Bat-to-ball & hand-eye stand out. Level path through the zone allows for adjustability. Consistently on the barrel. Controls the strike zone with minimal swing-and-miss. Top of the order type bat currently with the frame to continue to add strength and improve power.
Indiana recruit. Simple swing - creates stretch during the load that allows for impact when combined with his twitch and hand speed. Simplicity of the operation helps to create consistency. Barrel works slightly uphill to match plane. Foot-speed is advanced, adding to the offensive profile.
Very athletic & full of quick-twitch muscle fibers. Twitch creates advanced bat speed. Efficient usage of body to create hip-to-shoulder separation within the swing - creates more power than the frame suggests (95+ EVs). Bat enters the hitting zone early & stays on plane through the zone.
Physical right-handed hitter with bat speed. Swing mechanics are advanced, bat gets on plane early and gets to extension. Bat speed stands out.
Power is another tough thing to project with younger hitters, but some key traits are imperative to look for when doing so. Frame, bat speed, barrel awareness, and efficient swing mechanics are a few key traits that help to project power. The players listed below have not only showcased loud exit velocities in a showcase setting, but have also carried it over into gameplay.
Stocky, switch-hitter with advanced physical strength. Compact swing from both sides with advanced bat speed. Already produces mid-90s exit velocities. Hit for power on multiple occasions throughout the summer of 2023, including against velocity. 14 extra-base hits including 4 HR’s as a freshman.
Athletic & physical frame at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds. Awareness of the strike zone stands out and he consistently puts himself in good counts to get his “A-swing” off. Hand speed + bat speed is obvious and allows him to leverage the ball out front. 95 mph exit velocity, can spin the ball true to the pull-side.
6-foot-2, 195 pound left-handed hitter - strength in the lower half. Some thunder in the bat due to outstanding physical strength, built like a linebacker. Back hip powers the swing and helps to create bat speed. 95+ exit velocity with room for development in the swing.
Long-levered, 6-foot-2, 175 pounder with athleticism. Left-handed hitter that creates easy juice. Turns a tight barrel that enters the hitting zone early and works uphill. Power will only continue to improve as he adds strength.
Really looks the part of a future power hitting corner infielder standing at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds. Smooth tempo throughout the swing, long arms allow him to leverage the ball out front. Has shown both pull-side & opposite field power. Swing works uphill - will continue to increase power output as he adds strength.
As the old saying goes, “Speed don’t slump.” The college game is played at a much faster pace than many realize and premium foot-speed helps to mitigate the transition from high school to college. These 2026 prospects have shown outstanding foot-speed in both the 60-yard dash and in game settings.
Dynamic athlete. Standout on the gridiron, as well. 6.72 runner in the 60 - plays even faster. Can really get down the line to apply pressure to the infield, tough-minded & will take the extra base. Shows advanced instincts on the base-paths. Athleticism translates to the middle of the diamond in the form of range.
Speed is a huge part of his game, twitch stands out. 6.65 runner - consistently turned in H - 1st times in the 4.2s from the right-side throughout the summer. Stolen base threat at any time, foot-speed helps to leg out extra bases. Bounces around the infield with energy.
6.61 runner - glider type. Premium foot-speed translates to easy range in the middle of the diamond. Stolen base threat at any time. Raw athleticism that projects to continue to progress.
Wiry athlete w/ twitch, 6.73 runner in the 60. 6-foot-1, 165 pounder - takes longer strides & gets up to top speed quickly. Foot quickness stands out in the infield.
Very athletic & full of quick-twitch muscle fibers. Accelerates quickly & plays the game with a high-motor allowing his 6.79 speed to play up even more. Base stealing threat that can really range in CF.
This category is a mix between the glove tool and the arm tool, better categorized as the best defenders in the class. Middle-of-the-diamond defenders are at a premium and a prospect must have advanced glove actions, foot-speed, and/or arm strength to be considered for this category.
Bowen’s name has shown up over & over again on this list for good reason, his abilities are that dynamic on the diamond. A true shortstop with next-level athleticism - Bowen’s soft and confident glove actions will allow him to stick at SS in the long-term and his premium foot quickness helps to create range. His arm strength is already above-average (86 mph INF Velo) and he shows the ability to carry the ball across the diamond with true spin.
Quick-twitch athlete that separates himself with advanced foot-speed for the class (6.79 60) along with the best outfield arm that we have seen to date within Indiana’s 2026 class (90 mph from the OF). True CF potential.
A long-limbed, 6-foot-1, 160 pound infielder - Grant has smooth & fluid footwork that allows him to play downhill and his body control is advanced for the class. Grant’s hands are soft and he shows the ability to use multiple arm slots with advanced arm strength.
Czarniecki cracks this list due to his ability to play two very different middle-of-the-diamond positions with prowess. Czarniecki is a primary catcher with big arm strength from the crouch (77 mph) that has turned in sub-2.00 pop times already. Czarniecki’s arm strength also translates to CF, where the 6.90 runner shows comfort ranging both gaps.
A smooth defender with standout defensive actions, Nicoloff impressed with his body control in the middle infield throughout the summer. The 5-foot-11, 160 pounder has soft hands with glove-to-hand prowess and can throw from multiple arm angles with above-average arm strength.