According to D1 Baseball, Virginia Tech starting C Brody Donay has entered the transfer portal following a very good freshman season with the Hokies.
Virginia Tech catcher Brody Donay has officially entered the transfer portal, per @d1baseball. A 6-foot-5 catcher, Donay smashed 12 homers in 39 games during his freshman season with the #Hokies. Currently, he’s slugging .424 in the Cape with Hyannis.— Chris Hirons (@chrisjhirons) July 12, 2023
During the 2023 season, Donay batted .260 with 12 home runs, 38 RBIs, a .352 on-base percentage, and a .585 slugging percentage while appearing 39 games with 33 starts among those after taking over the starting catching job from Gehrig Ebel by the middle of the season. He will have three years of eligibility remaining though on his current course, he will likely be in the pros after two more seasons as a future high level MLB prospect out of the college ranks.
There's no denying the disappointment of this news for the Hokies given the hitting talent that Donay has shown and the massive upside he has. That upside was continuing to show this summer with his strong start in the Cape Cod League as TSL's Chris Hirons noted in his tweet on D1 Baseball reporting the Donay news.
He does have a lot of room to grow defensively as shown by his 6 errors but has the potential to develop into a solid defensive catcher by the end of his career. His size at 6'5'' could also lead to a future move away from catcher to 1B/corner outfield role defensively with legitimate power upside as a DH given the hitting talent he brings to the table. Of course, Tech's 1B job is locked up for the next couple years by Freshman All-American Garrett Michel.
Looking ahead to 2024, Tech does have a pair of quality options in rising senior Gehrig Ebel and rising sophomore Henry Cooke.
Ebel was the initial starter this season and while he isn't a great hitter, he is a very good defensive catcher who also can help manage games well behind the plate. Cooke showed lots of promise himself in the 16 games (4 starts) he appeared in as a true freshman including as a hitter batting 8-27 (.290) with 4 extra-base hits and 3 RBIs. However, it's going to be difficult, if not impossible, for the Hokies to replace the power and hitting upside that Donay brought to catcher even if Tech may upgrade at least slightly defensively.