The 2022 Virginia Tech Baseball was headlined by stars developed "in house" but supplemented by plenty of talented transfers from starting 2B Eduardo Malinowski to DH Conor Hartigan to standout reliever Kiernan Higgins to talented Sunday starter Jordan Geber and more.
With Tech returning some of their stars like Jack Hurley, Drue Hackenberg, and Carson DeMartini but losing plenty of other talented players, the Hokies are unsurprisingly getting to work in the transfer portal. So far, Tech has already landed a few intriguing players who could make a big impact in boosting next year's team. Here's a rundown of the trio of transfer additions to date.
George Mason SP Jared Lyons
Probably the biggest transfer addition so far this offseason for Virginia Tech is George Mason starter Jared Lyons who is coming off a disappointing 2022 season but has loads of upside especially after a dynamic 2021 season for the Patriots.
Congrats to @JaredLyons26 on his commitment to Virginia Tech pic.twitter.com/sl5ALgIbcm— ACE Pitching & Arm Care (Coach Giblin) (@cgibbaseball) July 1, 2022
In 2021, Lyons was one of the best starting pitchers in the Atlantic 10 as he went 6-2 in 12 starts with 2 complete games, an average of 6 innings per start, a 3.73 ERA, 76 strikeouts over the course of 72.1 innings with only 38 walks, and a .192 opponents' batting average. Safe to say, Lyons was a dynamic pitcher who rightly earned All-Atlantic 10 First Team honors.
His 2022 season was a step back though he did go 6-5 in 18 games including 13 starts with a complete game and a save while still holding opponents to a .252 batting average. However, his strikeouts dropped from 76 to 65 despite pitching in 80.2 innings while he also walked 40, had an ERA of 5.69, and gave up 7 home runs after only giving up 2 the previous year.
The disappointing 2022 does raise some questions, but there's no doubt that Lyons has loads of talent and his 2021 is a great example along with the fact that hitters still only hit .252 against him this past season. He's also showing signs of promise of returning to his best form as he's had 15 straight scoreless innings to start his summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League.
Lyons could definitely slot in as a solid Sunday starter for the Hokies next season and if he can find his 2021 form, Tech's weekend rotation will likely be among the best in the country with both Drue Hackenberg and Griffin Green back, and with significantly more experience.
Bucknell OF Chris Cannizzaro
With Gavin Cross off to become potentially the highest draft pick in program history, there's an outfield opening alongside Jack Hurley (who could end up in center next season) and Carson Jones. Enter Chris Cannizzaro who is coming off back-to-back big seasons at Bucknell.
Great article about Bucknell's Chris Cannizzaro, who will play for @HokiesBaseball next year (and maybe the year after that).https://t.co/E4dSaw3CZ4— Will Stewart (@WillStewartTSL) June 16, 2022
Cannizzaro was an All-Patriot League First Teamer back-to-back seasons starting in his junior season in 2021 when he hit an impressive .355 to go with a .433 on-base percentage, 2 home runs, 23 RBIs, 12 doubles, and 4 triples.
He followed that up this past season with a more impressive run-producing season as he had 6 home runs and 34 RBIs to go with a .335 batting average, .403 on-base percentage, and 12 doubles. He also had 4 stolen bases plus a .990 fielding percentage with only one season over the course of the season as a corner outfielder for the Bison.
Like Tech's other two transfers, Cannizzaro is a veteran player with proven credentials at lower levels ready for a jump up with his extra COVID season. He definitely has proven to be a quality hitter who can fit into Tech's lineup surrounding the strong core of Jack Hurley, Carson DeMartini, and Carson Jones as a quality table setter with run-producing upside who can slide into left field with Hurley in center field.
Cade Swisher could be among the competition for Cannizzaro along with incoming freshman Nick Morabito and Griffin Stieg who are versatile players who could play multiple positions though both may get drafted and receive large deals that keeps them from ever reaching the college game. Even with that competition, Cannizzaro currently seems in good position to start next year though Tech could easily look to add another outfielder as well especially with DH also open.
Regardless, Cannizzaro definitely is someone who will fight for every opportunity as someone playing with plenty of inspiration thanks to his heroic father who sacrificed his life to save others on 9/11, inspiring Cannizzaro deeply. You can read more about him in the story in the tweet above.
Radford SS David Bryant
The trio of transfers to date finishes off with Radford SS David Bryant who heads to Blacksburg after a very good 2022 season following a breakout 2021 season for his free COVID year.
Three Virginia Tech baseball players have entered the portal since its season concluded: Outfielder and pinch runner Brennan Reback & pitchers Jackson Ritchey and Noah Johnson.— Chris Hirons (@chrishironsVT) June 21, 2022
Since, Tech has added Radford infielder David Bryant. Players have until July 1 to enter the portal.
Bryant's big season came his junior year in 2021 as he earned All-Big South 2nd Team honors for Radford hitting .364 with 7 home runs, 37 RBIs, 9 doubles, 4 triples, a .480 on-base percentage, and a .594 slugging percentage. He also had a .924 fielding percentage while also stealing four bases.
He followed that with a solid 2022 season hitting .307 with 2 home runs, 29 RBIs, 12 doubles, a .431 on-base percentage, and a .436 slugging percentage. He also had a .945 fielding percentage with only 10 errors plus 5 stolen bases.
Tech's middle infield is having plenty of change with Bryant being a quality veteran candidate to compete for starting playing time at 2B and SS with Christian Martin considered the other favorite. Nick Morabito is a versatile incoming freshman for Tech though he's also a top 100 prospect for the upcoming MLB Draft and may never reach campus. Warren Holzemer and Sam Tackett are also poised to provide plenty of competition though with the current roster composition, Bryant and Martin are currently the favorites to be Tech's 2023 middle infield duo.
Miami RHP Anthony Arguelles
Virginia Tech have added a fourth player from the transfer portal recently in Miami reliever Anthony Arguelles according to TSL's Chris Hirons.
Virginia Tech has added pitcher Anthony Arguelles from Miami as a graduate transfer, per multiple sources.— Chris Hirons (@chrishironsVT) July 8, 2022
He should have one year of eligibility remaining. The righty threw in 18 games last season, recording a 4.82 ERA out of the bullpen. He struck out 28, good for a 13.5 SO/9
Arguelles comes to Virginia Tech with one season remaining after spending the past two seasons at Miami following his arrival from Santa Fe College.
Arguelles was a solid reliever for Miami over the past two years going 4-1 with a 4.34 ERA in 18.2 innings (18 appearances) with 16 strikeouts to only 9 walks. His ERA went up in 2022 but his strikeout rate also did as he was 2-0 with a 4.82 ERA in 18.2 innings (18 appearances) with 28 strikeouts compared to 11 walks.
Arguelles has shown development into a power pitcher during his time at Miami that can make him a guy you can send in for big situations where you desperately need a strikeout. He should fit in well in a bullpen that loses Kiernan Higgins and likely Graham Firoved but does return Jonah Hurney, Christian Worley, and Henry Weycker along with potentially Firoved depending on if he's drafted and where if so.
He also fits in as a righty in a bullpen that could some more on that side with Worley being the only core bullpen righty sure to return next season.