Prep Baseball Report

Texas Player Rankings: 2026 Class

Brandon Gowins
Texas Scouting Director

TEXAS - After a Spring, Summer, and Fall of accumulating names and evaluating the class, we are excited to introduce our initial 2026 rankings. We will take this initial list to 25 players and will continue to expand as we get more and more eyes on the class.  At first glance, this class features a lot of athleticism up the middle, and it wouldn’t be a Texas list without a few high end arms. Today we will take a deeper dive into the top 10.


Emerson takes the top spot in the initial rankings, as he offers an elite hit tool from the left side from a premium position.  The TCU commit recently just helped the Team USA 15U National take home Gold in the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup as one of the youngest players on the roster.  
 In the batters box, Emerson shows the potential for a + hit tool.  He has good natural rhythm in the box and great balance allowing him to use the whole field with authority.  He flashes pull side power and as he keeps getting stronger, that will only continue to improve. It’s rare when a player of Emerson’s age takes as much pride in his defense as he does his hitting, but Emerson shows all the makings of a high end defender at short.  He has good lateral quickness, and has enough arm to make every throw from short. While just a freshman, Emerson looks like the next big name shortstop to come through the DFW


#2 Chandler Hart - LHP/1B - Allen - Uncommitted

Hart has the look of a prototypical hard throwing Texas, and to top it off, he is Left Handed. The 6’5 Lefty joined Emerson on Team USA and helped the National Team take home Gold in the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup.  

On the mound, Hart has a low effort delivery that he repeats well for his size and age. He throws from a ¾ slot, with a fastball that has been up to 90.  He sits comfortably in the upper 80’s and still has tons of projection left in his frame.  He also shows a promising curveball that he shows the ability to throw for strikes.  It has good shape and could turn into a real swing and miss pitch as it develops more power.  While Hart’s calling card is his left arm, Hart shows the ability to swing it from the right side.  He uses his long levers to drive the ball to all parts of the field.  He also shows good athleticism for his size.  Hart has Friday night starter upside and it will be fun to watch his progression.


#3 CJ Sampson - RHP/3B - Tomball - Uncommitted

Sampson is #3 on our initial list, and the RHP/3B has produced at a high level in some of the country’s biggest events. He is a good athlete, with present strength that allows him to repeat his mechanics well. 

On the mound, Sampson features a mid 80’s fastball with a repeatable athletic delivery.  He has great command of his fastball for a HS kid, much less one just entering his freshman year.  The command carries over to the breaking ball, which he shows the ability to throw for strikes or expand the zone to put away hitters.  He will also show feel for a changeup that will help him down the road to neutralize lefties.  Sampson also shows an advanced swing from the left side that allows him to drive the ball with authority to all fields.  He shows some pull side power with some natural loft in the swing.  


#4 Jorvorskie Lane - OF/INF - OD Wyatt - Uncommitted

Coming in at #4 is Jorvorskie Lane, the athletic OF from Ft. Worth. Lane, who is one of the younger players in the class, shows elite athleticism that shows up all over the field.  He is a 6.8 runner currently, and it shows up in everything he does. He shows the makings of being an elite defender in CF with good range and a good arm.  At the plate, Lane’s bat speed stands out and it allows him to drive the baseball with authority all over the field. Once he is on the bases, Lane can cause havoc.  His speed and baseball IQ makes him a great base stealer and is always looking to take the extra base.  


#5 Spencer Browning - MIF - Pleasant Grove - Arkansas Commit

Coming in at #5 is Browning, the Texarkana native committed to Arkansas.  Browning is another highly athletic MIF who also shows the ability to really hit. At the plate, Browning shows good balance throughout the swing allowing his electric bat speed to play.  He has the ability to let the ball travel deep and use his quick hands to drive the ball all over the field. It is easy to dream on the power potential of Browning’s when looking at the frame and bat speed. In the field, Browning shows soft hands and good actions in the INF. Primarily a shortstop,  He has plenty of arm for the left side. Browning is also a 6.8 runner, and it plays during the game. 


#6 Ronin McCraw - MIF - Concordia Lutheran - Uncommitted

The 2 time Jr. Future Game member comes in at #6. The LHH SS plays with a lot of energy and a high baseball IQ.  The athletic middle infielder has a natural feel to hit, and shows the ability to use the whole field. He had multiple extra base hits at Jr. Future Games and as he matures and gets stronger, he should develop some pull side power. When he gets on the bases, he is looking for action.  He is always taking the extra base when he has the opportunity, and he is thinking about the second he leaves the box.  In the field, he shows good lateral quickness and does a good job coming in on the ball.  He has more than enough arm to stick at short. McCraw plays with a confident intensity, and will be fun to watch as his HS career progresses.


#7 Judson Dowell - 3B/OF/RHP - Houston Lamar - Texas A&M

The Texas A&M commit has some of the loudest tools in the 2026 class. He already runs in the 6.8’s and shows athleticism to play all over the field.  He has a + arm for his age, registering in the upper 80’s from the outfield and infield.  On the mound, he has been up to 85 with a simple, easy delivery.  Where Dowell really stands out is at the plate.  He has good bat speed and has some current power to the pull side that should continue to improve as he matures.  It’s an efficient swing that he repeats well, and for a younger player with power, he shows the willingness to use the whole field.  Dowell is an explosive player and it will be exciting to watch him continue to develop.


#8 Jaylen Walker - OF/RHP - Lutheran South Academy - Uncommitted

When it comes to tools, there aren’t many around that have louder tools than Walker.  The Freshman from Houston can do things on the field that few other players his age can do.  He is a good runner for his age and should be able to handle CF or RF long term. His arm will play anywhere on the field as he is upper 80’s from the OF with plenty more coming.  At the plate, Walker has explosive bat speed and can drive the ball with authority to all parts of the park.  He starts with high hands and uses a slight leg kick to get his swing going. Once the foot is down, his plus bat speed and strength really show up.  All that sounds like a top 10 guy in the state, but to add to that, Walker has touched 90 on the mound.  He is still harnessing his command, but it is easy velocity and he shows feel for a curveball and a change up.  Walker has all the tools to be special, and it will be exciting to see him put it together throughout his HS career.


#9 Karson Reeder - RHP - Tomball - Uncommitted

Reeder is a good combination of present stuff and projectability. The 6’2 RHP has a frame to dream on, as he has plenty of room to gain strength.  His fastball sits in the low to mid 80’s right now, and has topped 86. I expect that number to jump by the end of next summer. The pitch also shows some arm side run and sink when he gets out front.  He has a clean delivery from the right side, with a shorter arm action that he repeats well.  He compliments his fastball with a changeup that he throws with good arm speed and conviction.  He also throws a sweeping breaking ball that has good shape and has potential to turn into a nice slider as he matures and throws it with more power.  The other thing that really sticks out about Reeder is his command.  He is an elite strike thrower for his age which is tough to find.  I expect Reeder to continue to make jumps in the near future.


#10 Dylan Cheek - MIF - Rockwall - Uncommitted

Another JFG member, Cheek really opened some eyes last spring at the PBR Texas Rising Stars event.  And from there he was one of the big winners for Team Texas at Lakepoint.  The MIF showed off all the tools during the weekend. Defensively he made every play and showed the ability to go side to side and come in on the ball.  He showed plenty of arm to make you think he will be able to stick at short.  At the plate, Cheek does a good job of finding his pitch and when he does, he doesn't get cheated. He has good bat speed, and drove the ball to all fields at Lakepoint.  He has a projectable frame, and should grow into some power as he matures.  Cheek plays the game hard and with confidence, and continues to get better every time we see him. 



Fort Worth Preseason ID TX 01/03 Weatherford College (Roger Williams Ballpark) - Weatherford, TX
Houston Preseason ID TX 01/07 Rice University (Reckling Park) - Houston, TX
San Antonio Preseason ID TX 01/08 Marion High School - Marion, TX
South Houston Preseason ID TX 01/14 Alvin Community College - Alvin, TX
Dallas Preseason ID TX 01/15 Lake Dallas High School - Corinth, TX
Central Texas Preseason ID TX 01/16 Salado High School - Salado, TX