Prep Baseball Report

Initial Class of 2026 Player Rankings (November)

PBR Ohio Staff

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Initial Class of 2026 Player Rankings (November) 

This will be the 15th class we’ve ranked since the inception of PBR Ohio and we truly believe it has a chance to be one of, if not the best to date. The talent from top to bottom is not only advanced but the talent pool is deep as well. Today we will introduce you to the initial top 10 as well as give you a few names just “off the cusp” you can expect to see on this list sooner than later.

2022 has given us a little bit more normalcy in life, and the high school baseball scene is no different. We crowned four state champions during the spring and enjoyed a full summer and fall with tournaments/showcases throughout the state. We have searched far and wide throughout the state to find the best prospects we can, to help them get to college and to help colleges find prospects that fit their culture.

With many names be noted and talked about by some of the most prestigious programs in the nation. Below we will take a look at The Top 10 and "On The Cusp Prospects".

To view the Class Rankings, click below:

To view the Prospect Reports, click below:

The Initial Top 10

Shawn Sullivan RHP / OF / Walsh Jesuit, OH / 2026

Report: The Alabama commit is about a slam dunk of a Power 5 prospect you could ask for at this age, with a high-level combination of production and projection. Physical, athletic, and explosive in all phases w/clean patterns that will support added strength / velocity gains. We’ve seen it up to 89mph on the mound w/a hammer CB and you could make an argument he’s the most dynamic bat in that class as well.

Parker Van Engelenhoven RHP / SS / Olentangy Liberty, OH / 2026

Report: This years’ JFG squad was arguably the top team at that age to represent the Buckeye state and Parker was the player who left with the most college attention. 6-foot-3, smooth athlete in all phases who we’ve seen up to 86mph w/feel for a slider that has potential to be plus. Positionally, he’s very functionally athletic as a defender who seems destined for the left side of the infield and all signs point to a middle of the order bat. Arguably the most upside in the state - you can take it to the bank that he will end up committing to one of the nation's top programs.

Bryson Wittmer LHP / OF / Edison, OH / 2026

Report: One of several Team Ohio JFG members who left LakePoint w/multiple D1 offers. Freakish ability at such a young age w/a premium combination of strength / burst both in the box and on the mound.We’d have him rated as a top 10 guy in the state if he wast just an outfielder or just an arm….but he can do both. On the mound it’s 85-89mph w/a high spin, potential plus breaking ball w/present swing & miss. Positionally, it shouldn’t shock you that he’s scoring varsity touchdowns as a freshman w/his frame and near sub 7.0 speed. He also registers off the charts bat speed that combined with advanced physicality leads to upper 90s exits and to complete the skill set he’s 92mph from the outfield.

Jack Ryan RHP / 1B / St. Xavier, OH / 2026

Report: Recent standout at our loaded State Games, where he showed advanced, two-way capabilities. When breaking down the talented prospect from the Cincy area you need to start on the mound.  6-foot-1, 170-pounds already put together but w/more than enough room for additional strength additions. FB will cruise in the mid 80s with reports of him even being up to 89mph. Secondary is well advanced for his age and each time we’ve seen him he’s been in the zone with the entire arsenal. Also turned heads with the bats at the state games, showing classic run producer traits and big time juice for class. Another guy who has multiple D1 offers in his back pocket already.

Drew Hauenstein LHP / 1B / Olentangy Liberty, OH / 2026

Report: The future at Olentangy Liberty looks bright, as they open up the initial class with two players in the top 5. Hauenstein (Ohio State commit) was about as good as you could be for Team Ohio at JFG. It took him just 41 pitches and two ABs to walk away with multiple Power 5 offers - which shows you it’s not hard to see the talent/upside here. 6-foot-3, who generates near top of the class output both with the bat and on the mound but makes everything look effortless. He’ll run it up to 85mph and run the gaps with ease without looking like he’s breaking a sweat. Sky's the limit here as the present skill set is advanced but he’s just scratching the surface of what he’ll be physically someday.

Deacon Nelson SS / RHP / University School, OH / 2026

Report: One of the more well-rounded players in the state regardless of class. In the infield he offers a true middle skill set w/uber athletic feet, well +avg lateral mobility / change of direction skills and advanced abilities w/the glove. In the box the lefty swinger is a “barrel” as the kids say these days - showing impressive feel for both his patterns & the zone, efficient / fluid mover, and has shown the ability to square up high level arms all summer. Also can hop on the mound and show you a mid 80s FB w/well above average secondary and the ability to fill it up. Had several D1 offers following JFG before committing to the University of Virginia.

Matt Ponatoski SS / Archbishop Moeller, OH / 2026

Report: You don’t become the 1st commit in your class without having some real ability and this Missouri commit has a ton of skill to his game. Similar to other guys on this list the skill set is well-rounded / plays positionally and on the mound. Right now looks to be ahead positionally where he is a smooth defender, sure-handed, with functionally athletic feet and potential to stay up the middle. The bat is explosive and productive. Each tournament we’ve had eyes on him he’s tallying multiple hits, usually of the extra base variety. When he does hop on the mound the arm talent jumps out - running the heater up to 88mph w/a sharp secondary.

Casey Myser LHP / 1B / Highland, OH / 2026

Report: One of the most intriguing prospects in the state - you could make an argument he has as high of a ceiling as any on this list. You’re looking at a 6-foot-2, high-level athlete who is getting playing time as a skill position guy on the gridiron for a very talented Highland team as a freshman. On the diamond he’ll run it up to 85mph from the left side, spins a breaking ball that has real potential, flies around the bases, and has the present ability to leave the yard. This is a real 5-tool candidate.

Conner Cuozzo SS / RHP / Archbishop Moeller, OH / 2026

Report: A monster physically / stands out right away when on the field with his follow classmates. 6-foot-1, 195-pounds and put together. Not only does he look different physically, he can do things on the field few can at this age. Potential two-way power prospect that has been up to 85mph on the mound and can run it into the upper 90s off the barrel. Not only is it a high revving engine - the movement patterns are also smooth, fluid on both sides  and he finds barrels/throws strikes every time we’ve seen him. I’ll not be surprised at all if this guy is an uber productive hit tool / starter on the bump that’s 100+ off the bat and 90+ on the mound before his prep career is finished.

Chandler Taylor OF / 3B / Badin, OH / 2026

Report: A prospect to dream on / has the upside to not only be a top 10 guy but even move up this list eventually. In game Taylor does things you can’t teach - cerebral player who works counts / has a natural feel for the game in all phases. Tools wise - he’s already well +avg across the board, everything looks easy / smooth and he has almost endless projection left on his 6-foot-1, 145-pound frame . It doesn’t take a wild imagination to see this being a power hitting, 6-foot-2+ lefty bat who is a sub 7.0 runner and can sling it around the 90mph from the outfield.

On The Cusp

Our “Big Board” for the initial Top 10 had nearly 40 guys on it. Here are a few of the names for college coaches to keep an eye on who have potential to be on this list / potentially jump guys currently on it.

***Names listed in no particular order/rank

Keaton Bowers C / SS / Hilliard Bradley, OH / 2026

Report: One of the more skilled players in the state / we have a D1 grade on. Impact bat w/potential to be a well +avg defender both behind the dish and up the middle. Still at the beginning stages of physical maturation - expect stock to continue to rise as he adds strength.

Mason Springs SS / RHP / MV Early Collage, OH / 2026

Report: Big time athlete who is a swiss army knife prospect. Top of the lineup bat w/sneaky pop, speed shows up in all phases, can flat pick it up the middle, and has a lot to like on the mound.

Dax Redman C / 3B / Oak Hills, OH / 2026

Report: Big fan here. JFG participant this year that can really defend behind the dish. Smooth actions, w/above average athleticism and feel to receive. Catch/throw wise the arm is very accurate and strength wise has potential to be plus. Everything works in the box as well. Will trend upwards as he fills out his uber projectable - 6-foot-1, 140-pound frame.

Jake Gaerke 1B / RHP / Archbishop Moeller, OH / 2026

Report: This dude has a chance to throw fuego down the road. Already 6-foot-2, w/long levers, room to add to frame, and gets down the mound well. FB is up to 86mph and will continue to climb. We simply haven’t seen enough of him to throw him in the initial Top 10.

James Haupt OF / RHP / North Canton Hoover, OH / 2026

Report: One of the bigger engines in the state w/legitimate two-way power potential. 6-foot-2, 200-pound uber physical athlete who is capable of mid 80s velo on the bump and upper 90s jump off the barrel. Will be exciting to see him progress.

Tyler Zimmerman C / RHP / Moeller, OH / 2026

Report: Skill set screams run producer. 6-foot-, 190-pounds with upper 70s bat speed that helps generate mid 90s jump and reports of him even crossing the triple digit barrier. We also saw the swing translate down at LakePoint against some of the nation’s top arms.

Gavin Byrd SS / RHP / Lakota East, OH / 2026

Report: Stands out in-game, everything works/is fluid. Simply put he finds barrels and makes plays. Going to be really good. Doesn’t have the metrics as some of the other guys on the list but they will come as he’s just starting to mature physically.

AJ Goldmeyer OF / C / Olentangy Liberty, OH / 2026

Report: This hit tool has a chance to be dynamic from the left side. Good athlete w/a quality combination of strength and upper 70mph bat speed. We’ve seen flashes of electricity in BP and in game. Good athlete that is a constant extra base hit threat.

Ben Hanley RHP / 3B / William Mason, OH / 2026

Report: Two-way prospect w/a very high ceiling on the mound. Delivery works - you can tell he has a feel for his patterns / is consistently on time w/the arm. Have seen him fill up the zone on multiple occasions w/the ability to mix. Has ran it up to 84mph / is ahead of where his brother (current 90+mph arm) was velo wise at the same age.

Lukas Potkanowicz SS / RHP / Anthony Wayne, OH / 2026

Report: Another high ceiling prospect here w/an impressive combination of size / athleticism. 6-1, ton of room to add - has shown defensive versatility, run producer traits in the box, and proved to be a high follow on the mound as well.

Logan Minamyer RHP / OF / Hilliard Bradley, OH / 2026

Report: Recently got eyes on him at the state games and he shows several signs of a future power arm. FB in the low 80s now and he’s 6-foot-2, frame is relatively untapped and doesn’t look like a guy that’s done growing. Could easily see this being a 6-foot-4, high velo arm down the road w/pitchability.

Kainan Bradford RHP / SS / Tusky Valley, OH / 2026

Report: Checks a lot of boxes for what college coaches are going to be looking for. Already 6-foot-2, still growing - lefty hit tool w/middle of the order traits, left side of the infield profile, and low 80s FB. Chance to be dynamic in several phases of this game as he develops.

Owen Mikin C / RHP / St. Ignatius, OH / 2026

Report: Don’t be surprised if he ends up being one of the top catch/throw guys in this class behind the dish. 6-foot-2, athletic feet, easy transfer, and a big/accurate arm. Already has shown sub 2.0 capabilities w/73mph strength. Offensively there’s a lot to like too w/present bat speed, feel for his patterns, and significantly more pop to comes as he fills out that 6-foot-2 frame.

Donovan Corbett CF / SS / Lakota East, OH / 2026

Report: Love the athletic profile and swing movements here. Very efficient mover in the box that syncs up patterns well. Always looks under control / balanced in from start to finish. Easy bat speed - always produces in game when we’ve been in attendance and has shown big fly capabilities.

Patrick Brancel C / RHP / Berkshire, OH / 2026

Report: Dog behind the dish - can flat out defend. Smooth, athletic, potential elite receiver and dots the bag accuracy wise on would be base stealers. Swing is efficient / full of athletic patterns. GOing to be a good one.

Aidan Sullivan 3B / OF / Moeller, OH / 2026

Report: Big fan here. We’ve seen Aidan several times against elite competition and he always seems to find a way to impact the game on either side of the ball. An above average athlete w/a ton of feel to hit from the left side and quality ball skills with the glove.

Ben Veletean SS / 2B / Springboro, OH / 2026

Report: A name that would be included on a list of top defenders up the middle in the state’s freshman class. Good athlete w/clean-fluid actions and the ability to create angles with his feet. Moves well laterally and can make plays out of his funnel. Offensively, swing player - natural tools are above average. Very talented player w/a high ceiling as he fills out that 6-foot-1 frame.

Ross Szollosi OF / RHP / Upper Arlington, OH / 2026

Report: Love the hit tool here / barrel accuracy through the roof. Young for his grade and hasn’t even started his maturation process physically and already generates near 90mph jump off the bat. This could be a later bloomer type that shoots up recruiting boards when he does hit that jump physically because all the offensive traits are there to be a high-level bat.

Landen Adams OF / C / Archbishop Moeller, OH / 2026

Report: Dynamic athlete w/one of the top run tools in the state. Not only is it 6.8 (laser timed) straight line but he has good instincts on the bases and in the outfield that allow him to swipe bags / really track down the baseball. Limited viewing with the bat but the day we saw him he found three barrels against mostly older competition.

Zach Church C / 3B / Highland Marengo, OH / 2026

Report: Looked the part recently at the State Games. Advanced defender both skill wise and cerebrally behind the dish for class - skill set is very well-rounded back there. Offensively, he has quality bat to ball skills / we’ve seen him barrel up quality arms on multiple occasions. One of many guys on this list that will make significant jumps as physical maturation takes its course.


Rank   Name State School Class Pos Commitment
1 Shawn Sullivan OH Walsh Jesuit 2026 RHP Alabama
2 Parker Van Engelenhoven OH Olentangy Liberty 2026 RHP
3 Bryson Wittmer OH Edison 2026 LHP
4 Jack Ryan OH St. Xavier 2026 1B
5 Drew Hauenstein OH Olentangy Liberty 2026 LHP Ohio State
6 Deacon Nelson OH University School 2026 SS Virginia
7 Matt Ponatoski OH Archbishop Moeller 2026 SS Missouri
8 Casey Myser OH Highland 2026 LHP
9 Conner Cuozzo OH Archbishop Moeller 2026 SS
10 Chandler Taylor OH Badin 2026 OF

***** To view the entire rankings, please click here.

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