Prep Baseball Report

Indiana HS Preview : Uncommitted Impact Sophomores

Cooper Trinkle
Lead Scout

Indiana's sophomore class is the first class we have seen to be largely impacted by the changes recently made within the recruiting landscape. We have major top-end talent still uncommitted on our board, with quality depth scattered throughout the list. In preparation for the upcoming spring season, we take a look at 26 highly ranked sophomores who will make an impact this spring. Some have already enjoyed success at the varsity level, followed by a group looking to take on a bigger role after gaining experience as a freshman, and finally a group of newcomers who are expected to make an impact on top ranked programs.  

Freshman Year Standouts

Dylan Bowen SS / Hanover Central High School, IN / 2026

A prized national recruit in the 2026 class - Bowen headlines this group after quickly adjusting to the varsity level in his freshman season. The ultra-athletic, 5-foot-11 shortstop batted .365 for Hanover Central last season, collecting 8 2B, 3 3B, and a home run while also driving in 26 and swiping 13 bases. Bowen went on to have a massive summer on the circuit playing for his club team, Top Tier Americans, then an outstanding showing at the Future Games cemented him further as one of the top ranked shortstops in the country. Bowen will help lead a strong Hanover Central squad in 2024 and is primed for another strong season.

Aiden Smith RHP / OF / Shelbyville, IN / 2026

Smith's stock has done nothing but trend upwards since a strong showing at last year's Preseason All-State, a precursor to one of the most impressive freshman seasons of any prospect on this list. Smith made an immediate impact for the Golden Bears - stepping in as the ace of the staff where he posted a 5-3 record and 2.40 ERA while striking out 67 in 46.2 IP. Smith is viewed as a national level prospect due to his abilties on the mound, however he was able to lead Shelbyville's offense as a freshman with a .430 batting average and 13 extra-base hits, including 10 doubles.  


Kobe Cherry RHP / Center Grove, IN / 2026

After reaching the state finals in 2023, Center Grove will lean on sophomore Kobe Cherry to lead the pitching staff in 2024. The 6-foot-4, 230 pound physical specimen saw immediate success in his freshman campaign, maintaining a perfect 4-0 record and pitching to an ERA of just 0.61. Cherry will play a large role in Center Grove's success this season, not only as the ace of the pitching staff, but also as a run producer in the middle of the Trojans' lineup.  

Colt DeHart OF / RHP / Indian Creek, IN / 2026

A strong fall season saw Dehart rise into the Top 10 of Indiana's 2026 class, but Colt receives praise here due to his efforts during his freshman season at Indian Creek. A sweet left-handed stroke helped Colt to a .340 average with 5 2B and 2 HR in 2023, while the two-way performer also racked up 27 strikeouts in 20 IP, walking just 5. The Indian Creek product will be counted on to take another step up in 2024.  

Reed Robinson C / OF / New Prairie, IN / 2026

Robinson put together one of the best offensive seasons of any player on this list - clubbing 14 extra-base hits (7 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR) while also stealing 12 bases and maintaining a .400 batting average. The switch hitting backstop enters 2024 with all-kinds of helium, tabbed as the unoffical MVP of our 2023 Top Prospect Games as the only '26 grad in attendance, and was recently featured on the Hotlist as a potential helium canidate heading into the Preseason All-State.

Jaxon Lueken RHP / Forest Park, IN / 2026

Unknown to our staff prior to a mid-May look last spring, where Lueken came out of the 'pen to show off a live arm that produced a fastball up to 87 mph. Now a Top 20 player in the class - Lueken enjoyed a dominant freshman season on the mound for the Rangers, posting a 5-0 record with 35 strikeouts compared to just 12 walks. Forest Park graduates 2023 ace Clayton Weisheit, paving the way for Lueken to lead the pitching staff of the perennial 2A power during his sophomore campaign. 


Ian Taylor OF / Guerin Catholic, IN / 2026

Guerin Catholic looks to be near the top of the 3A preseason polls and will need another strong year out of sophomore outfielder Ian Taylor in order to live up to the hype. Taylor looks to help pace an experienced lineup after he hit .337 as a freshman, adding 5 2B, 4 3B, and 2 HR while scoring 32 runs. A twitchy athlete with one of the stronger toolsets in the class - Taylor looks to improve upon his freshman statistics in the hopes of helping the Golden Eagles to a deep playoff run. 

Gavin Jackson 3B / Our Lady of Providence, IN / 2026

Providence, always a real contender in 2A, graduates Grant Borden and will look to sophomore Gavin Jackson to help fill his shoes in the middle of the order. Jackson totaled 8 doubles in his rookie season while holding a .341 average and getting on base at a .505 clip. Jackson showed off a consistent bat on the summer and fall circuits and will look to carry that positive momentum into the 2024 spring. 

Nathan Sutherlin SS / RHP / Greencastle, IN / 2026

A Top 50 player that plays with a quiet confidence and holds a 6-foot-3 frame that looks the part of an upside player - Sutherlin put together an outstanding statistical season in 2023 for Greencastle. The projectable shortstop hit .430 last year with 8 2B and 2 HR, also picking up 31 RBIs. Sutherlin performed well throughout our summer tournament coverage for his club team, the Indiana Nitro, and I would not be surprised to see him put together another strong statline in 2024.  

Tanner Post OF / Illiana Christian, IN / 2026

Illiana Christian enters 2024 as the back-to-back 2A State Champions and Post will look to help them back to Victory Field. The projectable, 6-foot-2, 185 pound two-way player will look to replicate an impactful freshman season, finishing the year with a .398 batting average and 8 doubles. Post also shined on the mound in 2023, maintaining a 1.26 ERA over the course of 33 innings of work. Illiana Christian graduates Kevin Corcoran and Post will look to help fill his shoes in his sophomore campaign. 

Looking to Build

Rob Czarniecki OF / C / Chesterton, IN / 2026

Czarniecki enters 2024 just outside Indiana's Top 10 - a consistent performer thoughout our summer and fall coverage for the Indiana Bulls. The physical, 6-foot-2 right-handed hitter gained experience for Chesterton as a freshman, hitting .255 with 4 doubles, and will look to take on a run producing role in his sophomore season.  

Gannon Grant RHP / SS / Center Grove , IN / 2026

Grant, a mid-season call up for Center Grove in 2023, gained valuable experience in his freshman season that included a start at second base in the 4A State Championship game. Grant was able to produce at a modest clip in his time for the Trojans, batting .278. Gannon will be counted on to fill the shoes of some losses to graduation, looking to bolster the Center Grove lineup as well as making an impact to the pitching staff. 

Jake Winger 1B / RHP / McCutcheon High School, IN / 2026

An upside prospect in the 2026 class and early reports indicate that Winger has gained significant strength heading into his sophomore season. A projectable, 6-foot-3 prospect - Winger batted .260 in his freshman campaign with 6 doubles and a home run. The added strength should help boost his power numbers in 2024 and Winger will also be counted on to provide depth to the McCutcheon pitching staff after striking out 20 in 20 IP last season. 

Eli Sinsabaugh SS / OF / Cathedral, IN / 2026

Sinsabaugh saw plenty of time as a freshman for Cathedral in 2023 and will be looked upon to replace Kyuss Gargett as the everyday shortstop this season for the powerhouse 4A program. One of the premier athletes available in the class, the speedy infielder showed improvements in his offensive abilities across multiple looks in the summer & fall. Sinsabaugh will look to improve upon his .220 average as a freshman after making strength gains and positive swing changes heading into the 2024 season. 

Gavin Lykins RHP / Plainfield, IN / 2026

A top performer during our fall tournament coverage for his club team, ZT Elite - Lykins saw himself rise in our most recent 2026 rankings update. There is significant upside within the 6-foot-4, 188 pound frame to suggest his overall abilities will take a step up after an offseason of development. Lykins gained experience for the Quakers in 2023, posting a 2-2 record in 22 IP as a freshman, and will look to improve upon those numbers in a larger role this spring. 

Jace Watson C / OF / Castle, IN / 2026

Watson saw early success during his freshman season at Castle before cooling off a bit to finish the season with a .235 average and 8 doubles. The muscular, 6-foot-1, 205 pounder showed improvements to his game at our recent Hoosier Holiday event, indicating a more consistent sophomore season is on the way. The left-handed slugger should team up with '25 Indiana commit, Noah Drake, to create a run producing tandem in the middle of the Knights' lineup this spring in hopes of helping Castle to another deep playoff run. 

Tyler Denny OF / C / Mooreville, IN / 2026

Denny showed no issues adjusting to the speed of the varsity level for the Mooresville Pioneers during his rookie season, batting .299 with 3 2B, 2 HR, and 10 stolen bases a season ago. Mooresville enters 2024 as one of our 4A preseason favorites, a lineup full of experience that Denny will be able to thrive in. 

Blake Smythe LHP / Franklin Community, IN / 2026

The second-highest ranked uncommitted southpaw in Indiana's 2026 class - Smythe gained valuable time on the mound for Franklin in 2023 and returns as one of the key cogs in the Grizzly Cubs' rotation. A season ago, Smythe posted a 1.57 ERA en route to a 2-1 record, striking out 25 in 22 innings of work. Look for Smythe to take more of the load in 2024 to help lead a younger, talented pitching staff. 

Matthew Cook RHP / Hanover Central High School, IN / 2026

Cook was able to post a 3-1 record in 2023 for Hanover Central, finishing the season with a 3.60 ERA in 22 innings of work. Holding significant upside within his 6-foot-3, 190 pound frame, look for Cook's overall stuff to take a step up in his sophomore season for a Wildcats' squad that is primed for a postseason run. 

Matthew Berry C / Frankfort, IN / 2026

Berry made an immediate impact behind the dish for Frankfort in 2023, helping them to a 20-win season that included a Regional Championship win. One of the better defensive backstops in the class, Berry enjoyed a strong freshman season that resulted in a .390 batting average, 3 HRs, and 22 RBIs. Frankfort will look to repeat their playoff success in 2024 and Berry will play a large role in doing so. 

Lannon Nicoloff SS / RHP / Harrison , IN / 2026

Nicoloff saw time in both the infield and on the mound during his rookie season at Harrison, looking to play a key role on both sides of the ball this spring. Another player that showed well during our summer coverage, Lannon is coming off a freshman season where he batted .292, expect that number to tick up after a year of varsity baseball under his belt. The two-way player was able to post a 2-2 record on the mound last season and we expect him to take on a more consistent role on the Harrison pitching staff during his sophomore campaign.

Impact Newcomers

Beckett Doane LHP / Noblesville, IN / 2026

Doane enters 2024 with arguably more positive momentum than any player in the class. A strong showing on both the summer and fall circuits, coupled with an outstanding showing at the Future Games, created plenty of buzz with recruiters heading into this season. Doane will look to take on a starter's role for Noblesville, a Top 10 team from a season ago that will surely be a preseason favorite in 2024. The 6-foot-5 southpaw's ceiling remains uncapped and he will look to bolster a talented Millers' staff during his sophomore spring. 

Kellen Thomson RHP / Center Grove, IN / 2026

Thomson has a chance to make an impact for the perennial 4A favorites in 2024 and a good spring from him should equate to success for the Trojans. Center Grove losses a handful of arms to graduation, paving the way for Thomson to earn a key role this spring. The athletic, 6-foot-4 right-hander with significant upside and outstanding command gained traction with recruiters during the fall of 2024 and will look to parlay that success into his sophomore season. 

Blake Cope 1B / OF / Zionsville, IN / 2026

You won't find a 2026 grad in the Hoosier State with more raw power at their disposal than Blake Cope of Zionsville. The muscular, 6-foot-2, 195 pounder was the biggest winner at our Hoosier Holiday event in December, reaching the 100 mph mark with his exit velocity while also showing straight-line speed with a top recorded 60 time of 6.83. Cope should mix into the middle of Zionsville's lineup this spring to provide some thunder to an Eagles' club with plenty of talent. 

Harrison Haq RHP / Penn, IN / 2026

Haq will look to make an impact as an underclassman for the defending 4A State Champions, a team that loses a large chunk of experience on the mound to graduation. The 6-foot-3 right-hander saw himself rise in the 2026 rankings after a strong showing on the circuit last summer, cementing himself amongst some of the top uncommitted arms in the class. Penn will chase their third title in as many seasons in 2024, and a strong year from Haq will help to decide the overall depth of the pitching staff. 

Desmond Francis SS / OF / Park Tudor, IN / 2026

Francis saw a bit of time for Park Tudor in 2024, but will look to take on an everyday role this season for a team that won 20 games in 2023. The Panthers return tons of experience heading into the spring and Francis should provide a spark to the lineup with his dynamic capabilities. Look for Park Tudor to debut as a top ranked 2A team and Francis' success, amongst others, will help indicate if a playoff run is in the cards this season.