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Early Cape League Standouts From 2025, 2026 MLB Draft Classes

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Image credit: Cotuit's Devin Taylor (Photo by Chris Jones/C Jones Photography)

In the opening weeks of the Cape Cod Baseball League season, rosters are a mixed bag. They’re comprised of local northeast players on temporary contracts, 2024 draft prospects looking to provide decision-makers one last look before the July draft and early-arriving players on permanent contracts often coming from respective schools that did not quality for the postseason.

Depending on which team you see on a given day, lineups can be thin. They’re often filled with more future draft picks in rounds 11-20 than rounds 1-5. But there is a more exciting demographic that also lurks on fields around this time: Collegiate National Team players, who arrive for a week to 10 days before departing for camp with Team USA.

Baseball America saw all 10 Cape Cod Baseball League clubs over the first two weeks of the season. While it’s a small window for most of these players, below we’ll discuss some standouts from the 2025 and 2026 classes.

2025 MLB Draft Prospects

Daniel Dickinson, 2B, Utah Valley State 

Cape Organization: Harwich Mariners

Following a standout freshman season in which he hit .372/.441/.592 with 29 extra-base hits, Dickinson this spring had his most productive year to date to the tune of a .367/.469/.661 slash line with 33 extra-base hits—including 18 home runs—53 RBIs and 32 stolen bases. On top of being named a first team all-WAC selection, Dickinson earned third team all-American honors. Upon first look at the back of his Cape League baseball card, he has had a rather modest seven-game stretch, but I was impressed in my look at Dickinson.

He has a legitimate middle infielder’s body at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, and his advanced offensive skill set stood out. In my look, Dickinson deployed a high-level approach with advanced swing decisions, flashed his barrel awareness and looked extremely comfortable in the box. It’s a very “hitterish” look. He’s a mature player with an outstanding feel for the game and his fingerprints are all over the box score night in and night out. Dickinson fits best defensively at second base, but he has smooth actions with soft hands. Following his stint with Team USA’s Collegiate National Team, Dickinson figures to finish up the summer back on the Cape.

— Peter Flaherty

Nolan Schubart, OF, Oklahoma State 

Cape Organization: Brewster Whitecaps

Schubart jumped over to Brewster this year after spending last summer with the East Division’s Chatham Anglers. He appeared in nine games for Brewster and performed well before heading off to the collegiate national team, hitting .300/.476/.667 with three home runs. Schubart was a highly-sought-after recruit out of Orchard Lake St. Marys (MI) where he was teammates with Rangers prospect Brock Porter and Auburn catcher Ike Irish. Standing 6-foot-5, Schubart is an imposing figure in the batter’s box and his power matches his size. 

Schubart has a below-average hit tool and his longer levers lead to some holes in his swing. His biggest struggles come against elevated fastballs and anything low and inside. Schubart, however, will punish opposing pitchers for leaving anything over the middle of the plate. Schubart’s easy plus-plus raw power and patient approach helps mitigate some of the natural swing and miss. He led the Cape League in 90th percentile exit velocity (104.1 mph) at the time he departed.

— Geoff Pontes

Devin Taylor, OF, Indiana

Cape Organization: Cotuit Kettleers

Taylor has been the most notable 2025 prospect in the league to this point. He announced his presence with authority as a freshman in 2023, hitting .315/.430/.650 with 13 doubles, 16 home runs and 59 RBIs. Taylor took his game to another level this spring and hit .357/.449/.660 with 11 doubles, 20 long balls and 54 RBIs. The rising junior showed well in his six games before leaving for Team USA, going 5-for-16 (.313) with a triple and a home run. Like Dickinson, Taylor will return to the Cape after his stint in Cary.

Taylor is far from a metal bat merchant, and his above-average power is real with wood. Most importantly, it translates in games. He takes a direct path to contact and has no shortage of bat speed. Taylor does not sell out at all in the box. Even in his brief stint on the Cape, he showed the ability to backspin the baseball to all fields. While his approach is advanced, he can get trigger happy at times against heaters.

Though he profiles as a left fielder professionally, Taylor’s offensive profile will anchor his draft stock. He is one of the premier collegiate bats in his class and has top-20 overall upside next July.

— Peter Flaherty

2026 MLB Draft Prospects

AJ Gracia, OF, Duke 

Cape Organization: Cotuit Kettleers

A standout freshman with Duke, Gracia has elevated himself to one of the top bats in the 2026 class over a whirlwind 12 months. Gracia hit .305/.440/.559 with 14 home runs this spring and has shown a well-rounded skill set at the plate. He makes a high rate of contact and rarely, if ever, expands the zone. Gracia makes opposing pitchers work for outs and showed a nice balance of aggression and passivity. He isn’t scared to attack a pitch left over the plate early in an at-bat. Gracia’s setup is unusual. He’s very narrow in his base with his front foot offset to stay open in his stance. 

Gracia’s power is above-average with a chance it gets to plus at peak. He has a good frame at 6-foot-3, with physicality but more room to add strength as he matures. The exit velocity data in a small sample was strong. Five of his 10 balls in play exceeded 98 mph. Gracia has a knack for finding the barrel as well, with a balanced swing that’s short to the ball but quick to extend on his best contact. He is a fringe-average corner outfielder with a fringy arm who could slow down in time. Gracia is a bat-first prospect, but one of the top hitters in the class and a likely first-rounder in 2026. 

— Geoff Pontes

Roch Cholowsky, SS, UCLA

Cape Organization: Orleans Firebirds

Cholowsky had plenty of day one draft buzz this time last year, but he instead opted for Westwood. I was selfishly very excited to see he was—unsurprisingly—signed to play on the Cape. For a true freshman in the pitching-heavy Pac-12, Cholowsky more than held his own and hit .308/.399/.500 with 21 extra-base hits and 33 RBIs in 52 games.

When I arrived at beautiful Eldredge Park for batting practice, I was a little taken aback by Cholowsky’s physicality. He looked every bit of his 6-foot-2, 195-pound listing, and I think long-term he might profile best defensively at third base rather than shortstop. Cholowsky’s ability on the dirt was as advertised. He had buttery smooth actions, ultra-soft hands and at least a 55-grade arm. Cholowsky was comfortable attacking the baseball, throwing from multiple slots and moving laterally. He is a slam dunk to stick on the left side of the infield.

In the box, Cholowsky’s pitch recognition skills and approach stood out. He picked up spin well out of the hand, consistently spoiled quality two-strike offerings and, overall, displayed a feel to hit. Cholowsky moves well in the box and there is some present bat speed, but his ability on the dirt is his calling card. As a sophomore, Cholowsky will again sign to play on the Cape, but he seems like a slam dunk to be a member of Team USA. He looks every bit of the part of an eventual first-round pick in 2026.

— Peter Flaherty

Joey Volchko, RHP, Stanford

Cape Organization: Cotuit Kettleers 

The only pitcher featured in this week’s spotlight, Volchko pitched an electric but erratic 2.1 innings before departing for the collegiate national team. Volchko made 20 appearances this season out of Stanford’s bullpen, showing swing-and-miss stuff but erratic command. He posted a 5.70 ERA across 42.2 innings with 53 strikeouts to 38 walks. Volchko came out to begin the fourth and immediately started throwing fuel. His fastball sat 96-97 mph in the first inning, showing ride-cut four-seamers while mixing in a low-90s slider and a firm changeup. 

Volchko has a tall, lean prototypical pitcher’s frame with solid athleticism. He is a fast-mover with some hitchy motions in his mechanics. His big leg kick almost reaches his sternum at peak before coiling and extending into his drive. Fellow CNT member Nolan Schubart doubled off Volchko to begin his appearance. The righty responded by sitting down Miami’s Derek Cuvet, another CNT teammate, on three pitches in the next at-bat. He first attacked with a 91 mph slider that swept hard off the plate generating an ugly chase swing. He went back to the slider on the next pitch, this time in zone, and Cuvet fouled it off. The final pitch was Volchko’s third consecutive slider, and Cuvet took it on the inside part of the plate looking for strike three.

Volchko battled his command throughout the appearance, but showed legitimate plus stuff when he found the plate.

— Geoff Pontes

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