WVU Baseball Also Feels Impact Of Transfer Portal

West Virginia seniors Zach Bravo (23), Trey Braithwaite (39) and Chase Smith (12) stand with Randy Mazey before their final home game

The transfer portal contains far more than just football and basketball players. Student-athletes in all other college sports also utilize the portal as a way to move from one school to another.

To obtain the one-time exception to be immediately eligible in a fall or winter sport, like football and basketball, a transfer must enter the portal by May 1. For spring sports, like baseball and track, automatic immediate eligibility the following season requires entering the transfer portal by July 1.

Thus most of those football and basketball players wishing to transfer have already entered the portal. There is no deadline on when to exit the portal, though, most, but not all, have already committed to new schools.

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The next wave of portal entrants will come from spring sports, and at West Virginia University, that means keeping an eye on baseball.

Randy Mazey’s Mountaineer baseball team, which finished the 2022 season with a 33-22 record but was disappointingly denied a berth in the NCAA Tournament, will lose just three players from this year’s squad to graduation – pitchers Trey Braithwaite, Zach Bravo and Chase Smith.

Everyone else on WVU’s squad is eligible to return in 2023, but that doesn’t mean they all will be back.

Two Mountaineers have already announced that they are entering the transfer portal – senior pitcher Zach Ottinger and freshman pitcher Deaton Oak. There will very likely be more who will join them prior to the July 1 portal deadline.

A native of LaGrange, Kentucky, Oak appeared in just two games and pitched a total of one complete inning in his single season at WVU.

Ottinger leaves with considerably more experience. The righthander from Marietta, Georgia, pitched in 54 games during his four seasons (the Covid-shortened year of 2020 does not count against his eligibility) with the Mountaineers, all of those in a relief role. This past season Ottinger worked in 17 games and 22.1 innings, allowing 27 hits and 12 earned runs, while walking 20 and striking out 42.

Ottinger and Oak are the only 2022 West Virginia baseball players currently in the transfer portal, but the odds are others will join them.

West Virginia head coach Randy Mazey gets a pregame fistbump from Mountaineer Mary Roush

On top of the three Mountaineers who used up their college eligibility and the two currently in the portal, there are nine others from WVU who are draft-eligible – pitchers Beau Lowery, Daniel Ouderkirk, Noah Short, Tyler Strechay and Jacob Watters, as well as position players Austin Davis, Kevin Dowdell, Dayne Leonard and Tevin Tucker.

There aren’t as many amateur players drafted as there used to be, though, as the MLB Draft was cut down from 40 rounds to 20 rounds in 2021. Besides being drafted, prospects can also sign as undrafted free agents.

Balancing the departures will be a number of newcomers, of both the high school and transfer variety. WVU signed 15 recruits for the class of 2023, which is rated 41st nationally by the Perfect Game. There will almost certainly be new incoming transfers as well before the first pitch is thrown next February.

So, in all there will be plenty of movement within the Mountaineer baseball roster between now and the start of the 2023 season.

Home Page forums WVU Baseball Also Feels Impact Of Transfer Portal

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  • #183340

    The transfer portal contains far more than just football and basketball players. Student-athletes in all other college sports also utilize the portal
    [See the full post at: WVU Baseball Also Feels Impact Of Transfer Portal]

    #183975

    Baseball squads aren’t as impacted as much by team dynamics like FB & BB. It’s more of an individual game less the 2B/SS combo’s.

    So, do you go after experienced Portal players or developing HS players? You could put together a great roster every year from Portal and JC’s.

    #183984

    Understand the point in that the pitcher/hitter matchup makes it more of a one-on-one game, but there’s also the acceptance of roles and working within those that figures greatly in baseball.

    Take a Kevin Dowdell. He could have made a case for more playing/pitching time, and been a problem when he didn’t get as much as he might have. Instead, he was a great team player, at least from what I observed, great in the dugout, supporting teammates etc. With 35ish players on the squad, having that across the board is really important.

    I don’t think there’s one set way to build it. PRobably a mix is the most sustainable, ID some HS players that aren’t drafted high enough to make them go, and then supplement with the portal.

    #183996

    Baseball is an individual game might be the most uninformed hot take of the year.

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Home Page forums WVU Baseball Also Feels Impact Of Transfer Portal

Home Page forums WVU Baseball Also Feels Impact Of Transfer Portal