Tennessee baseball transfer tracker: Who is leaving, joining Vols via portal?

Mike Wilson
Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee baseball is adding to its roster after a 57-win season in 2022.

The Vols have added a pair of transfers at key positions — catcher and shortstop — through the portal. UT also has a trio of players who entered the portal and could choose to leave.

Here's a look at who's coming and going from Tennessee baseball via transfer:

Who is transferring to Tennessee?

Kansas sophomore infielder Maui Ahuna (17) runs to first to score an RBI against Texas Southern in the fifth inning of Tuesday's inaugural Buck O'Neil Classic at Legends Field.

Maui Ahuna

Ahuna batted .396 with eight homers and 48 RBIs at Kansas last season. He had 16 doubles and four triples. He earned first-team All-Big 22 homers.

The 6-foot-1, 165-pound shortstop was one of the most-coveted transfers on the market this offseason before he committed to UT in early June. 

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Zane Denton

Denton was Alabama's starting third baseman for the past two seasons. He started 58 games in 2022, hitting .263 with a team-leading 13 homers. He had 48 RBIs, 12 doubles and a .483 slugging percentage.

Denton attended Ravenwood High School in Brentwood.

Griffin Merritt

Merritt was the American Athletic Conference player of the year in 2022. The Cincinnati outfielder hit .315 with 19 homers and a team-leading 53 RBIs. He had 17 doubles and 139 total bases with an on-base percentage of .382.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Merritt also was considering Arkansas and Oklahoma State as potential transfer spots. He started 140 games in four seasons at Cincinnati.

Andrew Lindsey

Lindsey is a former Walters State Community College standout. He did not pitch in 2022, but was 6-2 with a 4.89 ERA in 2021 for Charlotte. The New Johnsonville, Tennessee, native struck out 76 in 81 innings as a weekend starter. 

Jack Alexander

Alexander would have addressed a major need for the Vols at catcher. He signed signed with the Kansas City Royals as an undrafted free agent following the MLB Draft and will not attend UT.

The grad transfer from Austin Peay hit .346 with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs. He struck out 31 times with 27 walks, posting an on-base percentage of .425. He allowed five passed balls in 50 starts and threw out 23 of 70 runners attempting to steal. The 6-foot, 212-pound Alexander began his college career at Notre Dame before transferring to Austin Peay. 

Reggie Crawford

Crawford is a two-way player who planned to transfer from UConn, but he was picked No. 30 by the San Fransisco Giants in the MLB Draft and will not attend UT.

He hit .295 with a Big East-leading 13 homers and 62 RBIs in 2021. He also throws 100 mph as a left-handed pitcher. He had a 2.35 ERA in 7⅔ innings pitched in 2021. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Crawford missed the 2022 season after having Tommy John surgery. 

Alabama's Zane Denton (44) celebrates with Owen Diodati (16) after Denton hitt a home run against Tennessee during the NCAA baseball game in Knoxville, Tenn. on Sunday, April 17, 2022.

Who is transferring out from Tennessee baseball?

J.D. McCracken

McCracken was hampered by an injury early in the season, but threw in three games in April and May. The freshman lefty was impressive in his final out, a two-inning stint against Belmont on May 17.

The Murfreesboro native had an 8.10 ERA in 3⅓ innings. He allowed five hits and walked one.

Grant Cherry

Cherry pitched sparingly as a right-handed midweek reliever. He had a 5.40 ERA in 3⅓ innings across five appearances. He struck out five and allowed one hit, but walked nine.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Cherry is from Vestavia Hills, Alabama.

Nathan Smith

Smith, a freshman catcher, did not play in 2022. The Thomasville, Georgia, native redshirted.

Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at michael.wilson@knoxnews.com and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.