College Baseball Transfer Tracker: 2020's Most Impactful Names
With a roster crunch coming to college baseball thanks to the Division I Council’s decision to grant eligibility relief for all players in college baseball and the draft being shortened to just five rounds, the transfer portal has never been busier.
Most of the names in the portal won’t have an impact at the Division I level. Some of them will return to their original school, some will transfer but won’t have a big role, some will sign pro contracts after going undrafted, some will transfer down to a lower level and others may just hang up their cleats altogether.
And while we won’t know for certain how it all will shake out, there are already players committed to transfer elsewhere who stand out as potential impact players at their new school. Here are the best of those transfers. This list will continue to be updated as more players commit to new schools.
C Sean Arnold - Incarnate Word to Texas-San Antonio
2019: 325/.425/.495, 200 AB, 5 HR, 35 RBI
Catchers who can handle the bat are valuable in the sport, and Arnold fits that bill with what he did for Incarnate Word in 2019. Now, he'll move 20 minutes to the northwest to ply his trade for Texas-San Antonio, following former Incarnate Word coach Patrick Hallmark, who went from UIW to UTSA after the 2019 season. Hallmark's time at UIW was marked by the team's sharp improvement. Arnold will certainly help him do the same at this stop.
OF Corrigan Bartlett - Saint Louis to Wichita State
2019: .310/.411/.419, 210 AB, 1 HR, 26 RBI
After earning first team All-Atlantic 10 honors for his performance in 2019, Bartlett was off to a hot start in 2020, hitting .322/.447/.441, good for the team lead in batting average and on-base percentage. Now, the Maize, Kansas, native will be heading back home as a grad transfer to finish his career at Wichita State, where it's safe to expect his bat to earn him plenty of opportunities.
OF Julian Bury - Columbia to Loyola Marymount
2019: .314/.356/.415, 188 AB, 1 HR, 18 RBI
Bury was productive for the Lions from the minute he stepped on campus, and in his three-plus years with the team, he hit .296/.351/.365. His 2019 season was his best full season, but the 2020 season, which he finished hitting .355/.429/.452, was shaping up to be his best yet. He’s more of a spark plug type in the lineup rather than a run producer, but that should help him fit in well at LMU, which plays its games in a pitcher’s league, mostly in pitcher’s parks.
OF Hudson Byorick - Wofford to West Virginia
2019: .326/.443/.436, 218 AB, 2 HR, 45 RBI
The stat line you can see here paints the picture of a very productive hitter who should be a nice addition to the West Virginia lineup, and that's without the most impressive stat from his 2019 season, a 45-to-18 strikeout to walk ratio. With 18 doubles last season (and seven more in 2020), he flashes some gap power, and he has the speed to chip in with some production on the bases as well.
1B Brett Centracchio - Davidson to North Carolina
2019: .262/.327/.482, 191 AB, 9 HR, 36 RBI
A power bat who hit 10 home runs as a sophomore before slugging nine as a junior, Centracchio was perhaps on the way to his best season in 2020. He was hitting .352/.410/.648 with four homers in 14 games. He won’t be Aaron Sabato in terms of his production, but he is capable of stepping into the UNC lineup and holding his own right away.
OF/RHP Garett Delano - Brown to Mercer
2019: .289/.354/.458, 142 AB, 6 HR, 25 RBI; 3-5, 4.83 ERA, 69 IP, 41 K
The Ivy League grad transfer market is teeming with talent this offseason, and Mercer secured the services of one of the best two-way talents coming out of that league with the commitment of Delano. At the plate, he'll provide some power, having hit 16 homers over his three-plus seasons at Brown, and on the mound, he's a proven commodity as a durable starting pitcher, having started 25 games in his career. To a Mercer team that should again be competitive at the top of the Southern Conference, Delano will bring value as a player who can do a lot of things well.
RHP Javin Drake - Western Illinois to Indiana State
2019: 7-6, 4.37 ERA, 103 IP, 109 K
Tucked away with Western Illinois in the Summit League, Drake was a workhorse during the 2019 season, and he was at it again in 2020, most notably on opening day against Tennessee, when he limited the Volunteers to two runs on two hits in five innings. For an Indiana State program that’s always competitive in the Missouri Valley Conference, Drake could be a finishing touch for a team that looks to get back in the postseason in 2021.
2B Scott Dubrule - Jacksonville to Mississippi State
2019: .307/.404/.359, 231 AB, 0 HR, 29 RBI
This move feels somewhat reminiscent of Southeast Missouri State’s Trevor Ezell transferring to Arkansas for the 2019 season, as Dubrule, like Ezell, is a second baseman by trade who has done nothing but hit at his original program. He could be a ready-made replacement for Justin Foscue at second base, but if nothing else, he has the skill to be a quality extra bat off the bench.
C Robert Emery - San Francisco to Arkansas
2019: .320/.386/.479, 194 AB, 5 HR, 40 RBI
After landing two-way player Lael Lockhart, righthander Isaac Bracken and catcher A.J. Lewis earlier this offseason, the Razorbacks' hot streak on the transfer market continued with the commitment of Emery. As good as he was offensively in 2019, he was even better during the abbreviated 2020 season, hitting .381/.451/.540. Although there are only so many innings available behind the plate to go around, with the way both Lewis and Emery swing the bat, it seems safe to assume that Arkansas will look to get them both in the lineup somehow.
RHP Chris Farrell - William & Mary to Texas A&M
2019: 5-2, 2.58 ERA, 38.1 IP, 47 K, 6 SV
Farrell is another pitcher who could do a number of things with his new program, which in this case, is Texas A&M. He's got experience starting games, as he did in 2018 when he had a 4.44 ERA in 14 games that included 13 starts, but he's been at his best for the Tribe when pitching in relief, as he did in 2019. You can never have too many arms in the SEC, and Farrell will give the Aggies some additional depth, at the very least.
C Jackson Greer - East Tennessee State to Tennessee
2019: .314/.434/.541, 207 AB, 10 HR, 42 RBI
Greer, a Knoxville native and East Tennessee State’s top hitter in 2019, will have to adjust to SEC pitching, but his 2019 season, and his four early homers in 2020, suggest that he could be ready for that level. In a best-case scenario, he can provide instant pop in Tennessee’s lineup, but in any scenario, a team can never have too many players who can hit and handle catching duties.
RHP Ryan Hare - Nevada-Las Vegas to Cal State Fullerton
2019: 8-4, 3.52 ERA, 79.1 IP, 52 K
After spending the first four years of his college career at UNLV, Hare will finish out his career at Cal State Fullerton, about 15 minutes east of where he played his high school baseball in Lakewood, California. The righthander will provide the Titans with another proven starting pitching option after serving in that role with the Rebels. It's a small sample size, but it's worth noting that Hare's strikeout rate took a jump in 2020, as he struck out 22 batters in 20.1 innings after striking out 52 in 79.1 innings in 2019.
RHP Mitchell Holcomb - Pennsylvania to Rice
2019: 6-1, 3.76 ERA, 64.2 IP, 51 K
The Ivy League grad transfer market is an incredibly rich source of talent this offseason, and Rice got a good one in Holcomb, who will be returning to his home state to finish out his collegiate baseball career. The righthander started 28 games in three-plus seasons at Penn and finished his time there with a 4.03 career ERA in 163 innings. The final start of his time as a Quaker, his second of two starts in the shortened 2020 season, should get the Rice faithful excited about what Holcomb can bring to the table. Against Florida International, he threw eight shutout innings, striking out eight along the way.
SS Hal Hughes - Louisiana State to Rice
2019: .174/.289/.188, 149 AB, 0 HR, 11 RBI
An extremely skilled defensive shortstop, Hughes should step in and help Rice’s defense right away. If he is granted immediate eligibility, that could be as the starting shortstop, if the Owls’ incumbent starter, Trei Cruz, begins his professional career or moves to third base in 2021. Hughes could also handle other spots on the infield if need be. No matter when he steps on the field or where he plays, it will be difficult to keep a player of Hughes’ defensive skill out of the lineup.
RHP A.J. Jones - Jacksonville to Central Florida
2019: 7-4, 3.30 ERA, 87.1 IP, 77 K
Jones could be a valuable piece of the puzzle as the Knights look to carry the momentum from a hot start in 2020 into 2021. At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, Jones is an imposing figure on the mound and he backed that up with his performance in his one full season at Jacksonville after transferring from State College of Florida. Perhaps Jones could be an instant replacement in the UCF rotation for lefthander Joe Sheridan, who is currently in the transfer portal himself.
C A.J. Lewis - Eastern Kentucky to Arkansas
2019: .303/.434/.521, 188 AB, 9 HR, 49 RBI
Arkansas stayed hot on the transfer market recruiting trail by signing Lewis as its most recent addition. The catcher burst onto the scene with a huge year at EKU as a junior college transfer in 2019, but he was off to a monster start in 2020, hitting .451/.541/.843. With the Razorbacks likely to lose starting catcher Casey Opitz to the draft, there is an opportunity for Lewis to slide right into the lineup behind the plate, but he also has the athleticism to see some time in the outfield.
LHP/OF Lael Lockhart - Houston to Arkansas
2019: 4-6, 3.58 ERA, 83 IP, 76 K; .225/.315/.288, 111 AB, 1 HR, 8 RBI
Arkansas has been busy in the transfer portal already, signing Lockhart, Northern Colorado righthander Isaac Bracken and Eastern Kentucky catcher A.J. Lewis, and it is also reportedly in the mix for Central Connecticut State slugger TT Bowens. Lockhart has developed into more of an impact player on the mound throughout his career, but in 2018, he hit .297/.425/.419. His experience as a weekend starter might get him on the mound first, but he could conceivably help the Razorbacks in a couple of different ways.
RHP Reece Maniscalco - Wofford to Coastal Carolina
2019: 4-1, 2.34 ERA, 42.1 IP, 60 K, 6 SV
It speaks to the talent level present on the Wofford roster that it has four outgoing transfers on this list. Maniscalco at Coastal Carolina, like former teammate Rasesh Pandya, who is heading to Clemson, should provide immediate quality and depth in the bullpen. The righthander was extraordinarily difficult to hit in 2019. In addition to his 60 strikeouts in 42.1 innings, he held the opposition to a .192 batting average.
SS Jackson Olson - Hartford to Stetson
2019: .306/.345/.396, 222 AB, 1 HR, 21 RBI
There's a lot to like with Olson's game if you're Stetson. He handles a premium defensive position well, but he also provides versatility as a player who could also slot in at second base and third base. As a .288/.335/.377 career hitter for the Hawks, he has also proven himself with the bat, and although he won't bring home run power to the table, a combined 27 doubles between the 2018 and 2019 seasons shows that he does have some doubles pop. And with 20 stolen bases over his three-plus seasons with Hartford, he'll give the team some production on the bases as well. All in all, he seems like a perfect fit for a Stetson program that values athleticism and defense over power and physicality.
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RHP Rasesh Pandya - Wofford to Clemson
2019: 4-2, 1.80 ERA, 35 IP, 41 K, 2 SV
Pandya burst onto the scene with an outstanding 2019 season at Wofford, and he went into the 2020 season as the Terriers' closer, putting up a 2.13 ERA with three saves in 12.2 innings. Thanks to a redshirt season he took while at Wofford, he'll provide extra value to Clemson as a graduate transfer who will have two years of eligibility remaining.
INF Brett Rodriguez - Wofford to Creighton
2019: .324/.435/.469, 241 AB, 5 HR, 43 RBI
Rodriguez will bring a lot to the table at Creighton. For one, he brings a proven bat. Over his first three years at Wofford, he hit .299/.423/.413 with nearly as many walks (110) as strikeouts (123). He’s also a prolific base stealer, having swiped 75 bases in those three seasons. Defensively, he provides a lot of versatility, having played second base, shortstop and third base for the Terriers. Simply put, he’ll do a little bit of everything for the Bluejays.
RHP Christian Scafidi - Pennsylvania to Notre Dame
2019: 6-2, 2.62 ERA, 68.2 IP, 59 K
The 2019 Ivy League pitcher of the year will provide a jolt to the Notre Dame pitching staff. In his Penn career, Scafidi 11-6, 3.47 and 141 strikeouts in 158.1 innings of work. He was off to a hot start in 2020 as well, throwing 15 innings without allowing an earned run. The Fighting Irish showed early signs of progress under Link Jarrett this season. Scafidi’s presence could help them continue that progress in 2021.
LHP Joe Sheridan - Central Florida to Notre Dame
2019: DNP (injury)
After missing all of the 2019 season recovering from a torn labrum suffered during the 2018 season, Sheridan returned to the mound strong in 2020, going 2-0 with a 3.32 ERA in four starts for a much-improved UCF team. Over his career with the Knights, he went 15-7 with a 3.30 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 147.1 innings of work, primarily as a starter. Speaking of improved teams, Notre Dame was off to a good start in 2020, and Sheridan should help keep that momentum going in 2021.
RHP Alex Stiegler - Yale to Boston College
2019: 6-4, 3.52 ERA, 76.2 IP, 76 K
A young team in 2019 and 2020, Boston College has long been eyeing the 2021 season as a potential breakthrough campaign, and Stiegler makes them even stronger. A first-team All-Ivy League performer in 2019, the righthander will fit in nicely on a pitching staff that already projects to return most of its key pieces, including staff ace Mason Pelio.
1B/RHP Ryan Stoudemire - Charleston Southern to George Mason
2019: .298/.381/.544, 215 AB, 14 HR, 45 RBI; 1-5, 7.25 ERA, 22.1 IP, 20 K
Stoudemire came into his own as a slugger with Charleston Southern in 2019, hitting .298 with 14 homers to help him earn first-team All-Big South honors as a junior after hitting just .222 with six home runs as a sophomore. He has also chipped in on the mound, appearing in 52 games across three seasons, even if the 2019 season was his worst statistically as a pitcher. Stoudemire may be limited to first base or DH duty, but a team can never have too many players capable of hitting the ball out of the ballpark, so it's easy to see why George Mason brought him in.
RHP T.J. Stuart - Manhattan to Florida Atlantic
2019: 8-5, 4.08 ERA, 86 IP, 86 K
There are a number of roles that Stuart could fill at FAU. He could start games, as he did for Manhattan in 2019 and was going to do in 2020. He was solid for the Jaspers last year, but this year, he was even better in a small sample, putting up a 2.42 ERA in 26 innings of work. He could also be a bullpen weapon, as he was as a sophomore in 2018, when he had a 2.57 ERA, a .178 opponent batting average and 10 saves in 63 innings. The Owls typically do a good job of mixing and matching their best arms into the right roles, even in seasons when they're a little light on the mound, and Stuart will give them additional flexibility.
1B Bryan Sturges - Texas-San Antonio to Texas A&M
2019: .316/.465/.523, 193 AB, 7 HR, 48 RBI
Sturges has been well traveled throughout his college career. After beginning at Texas Christian, he transferred to Howard College before landing at Texas-San Antonio, where he mashed for the Roadrunners in 2019. He was at it again in 2020, hitting .290/.384/.484 at the time the season was shut down. His bat is what draws the eye right away, but he's not a stereotypical un-athletic slugger. He stole eight bases for UTSA in 2019 and put four more on the board to begin 2020. Led by the likes of John Doxakis and Asa Lacy, the Aggies have been more closely associated with pitching in recent seasons, but Sturges will provide a jolt to a lineup that had shown significant improvement in a shortened 2020 season.
OF Jake Wilson - Bowling Green to Liberty
2019: .303/.360/.404, 178 AB, 1 HR, 12 RBI
Wilson had already committed to Liberty before Bowling Green announced that its baseball program would be discontinued, but that decision means that he would have ended up in the transfer portal either way. As a .301 career hitter with the Falcons, he’ll bring a proven bat to the Liberty lineup, a well as a steady glove and good speed to the outfield.