No. 1 Concern for Arkansas’ No. 2 Transfer Comes with Some Important Fine Print

Charles Davalan, FGCU baseball, Arkansas baseball, transfer portal
photo credit: FGCU Athletics

Arkansas has landed its second commitment out of the transfer portal, as ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel reported Friday that Charles Davalan has committed to the Razorbacks.

The Canadian prospect seemingly confirmed the news by retweeting McDaniel. He comes to Fayetteville after a solid first year at Florida Gulf Coast that landed him on the ASUN All-Freshman Team.

According to 64Analytics, the 5-foot-10 Davalan is the No. 34 overall prospect in the portal this cycle. He joins Kuhio Aloy from BYU in the Razorbacks’ transfer haul.

Incredibly, Arkansas was the last high-major school to lose a player to the portal. In fact, as of Thursday, it was one of just eight Division I programs — out of 305 total teams — still at zero transfers.

The Razorbacks’ first loss to the portal didn’t even impact the projected 2025 Arkansas baseball roster, either, as Hunter Grimes was believed to be out of eligibility. That means Arkansas is still at 47 players for next year with the addition of Davalan and Aloy, as well as the incoming high school and junior college signees, while also factoring in expected losses to the MLB Draft.

The NCAA has expanded its roster cap for college baseball again for next season, but it is still a 40-man limit, so Arkansas will inevitably see a few more players leave at some point, especially considering it’s still believed to be active in pursuing other players in the transfer portal.

Charles Davalan with FGCU Baseball

Ranked as the No. 458 overall recruit in the 2023 class by Perfect Game, Charles Davalan is originally from Montreal, Quebec, but he headed south for high school and attended TNXL Academy in Ocoee, Fla.

Although the program has produced numerous SEC signees over the years, Davalan went the mid-major route by signing with Florida Gulf Coast.

It proved to be a great move, as he asserted himself as the Eagles’ leadoff man from Day 1.

That role seemed to fit him nicely, as he slashed .288/.413/.514 with a nice mix of power (10 home runs) and speed (13 stolen bases). Davalan struck out only 35 times and drew 28 walks, plus managed to get hit by a pitch 20 times. All of that helped him post a solid .927 OPS and earn a spot on the ASUN All-Freshman Team.

In the field, Davalan is a versatile defender who was listed as an “infielder/outfielder” on FGCU’s roster and split time between second base and right field.

His batting average, especially at the ASUN level, may not jump off the page, but his skill set has generated “top three round buzz” as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2025, according to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, and earned him a spot in the prestigious Cape Cod League with the Cotuit Kettleers.

What it Means for Arkansas Baseball

For the third straight offseason, Arkansas is tasked with replacing its entire starting outfield.

The 2023 trio of Jace Bohrofen, Jared Wegner and Tavian Josenberger was one of the Razorbacks’ more underrated outfields in recent memory, as they combined to hit .306 with 41 home runs and 136 RBIs and were each selected in the top 10 rounds of the MLB Draft.

In 2022, Arkansas’ outfield production was hampered by Zack Gregory in left field, but Chris Lanzilli and Braydon Webb were excellent and carried the trio to a combined to hit .282 with 31 home runs and 100 RBIs.

To say the Razorbacks fell short of replicating last year’s success – or even that of two years ago – would be a massive understatement.

Despite preseason All-SEC pick Kendall Diggs taking over full-time in right field after spending much of the previous year as the designated hitter, Arkansas struggled to get any production at all from its outfield.

Entering the year, Ty Wilmsmeyer, Ross Lovich, Will Edmunson and Jayson Jones figured to be the main options for the two outfield spots alongside Diggs. None of them asserted themselves as a starter, though, and that five-man group combined to hit just .232 with 15 home runs and 90 RBIs.

It wasn’t until Peyton Holt moved from the infield to the outfield that Arkansas finally got some consistency out there.

Holt, Wilmsmeyer and Lovich have exhausted their eligibility and Diggs, despite his struggles, is still expected to be taken in this summer’s MLB Draft.

Perhaps Jones finally lives up to the hype he had coming out of high school or Edmunson takes a significant step forward in his second season with the program after transferring in from a JUCO, but more than likely, Arkansas needs to get multiple outfielders from the transfer portal once again.

Even though he played more second base this past season, Charles Davalan is seemingly the first step to the Razorbacks rebuilding their outfield because that’s where he projects.. However, Kuhio Aloy — Wehiwa’s younger brother who is transferring in from BYU — is also capable of playing the outfield after being a designated hitter and first baseman for the Cougars.

Davalan also fits the description of the kind of player Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn laid out immediately following the season. Not only does he have power, but he is also athletic and can run.

The Razorbacks tried to add a similar player last offseason with Wilmsmeyer, but after stealing 21 bases with the Tigers in 2023, he had just four this season. That’s likely because he didn’t hit enough to consistently get on base or stay in the lineup.

Josenberger also fit that profile and was pretty successful as the leadoff man in 2023, posting a .904 OPS with 13 stolen bases and getting selected in the third round of the MLB Draft.

It’ll be interesting to see how much Van Horn turns Davalan loose on the bases, as he pledged to use more small in 2025 and not just rely solely on the long ball.

The most glaring concern for Arkansas baseball fans is likely his .288 batting average. In the era of the transfer portal, it’s pretty rare for the Razorbacks to bring in a mid-major transfer who hit under .300, as the SEC is a significant jump up in competition.

John Bolton is the only other example that comes to mind, as he hit .287 in his final season at Austin Peay before struggling to stay over the Mendoza Line at Arkansas, but he’s not a great example.

First of all, the Razorbacks added him for his defense, and that’s ultimately why he won the starting job at shortstop in 2023. He also didn’t have much pop, with one home run and a .399 slugging percentage at Austin Peay, plus he was in his final season of eligibility.

Davalan is a good defender, but his bat is what has scouts intrigued. He hit 10 home runs and had a .514 slugging percentage, so he has some power. The Razorbacks are also probably banking on the fact that he was just a freshman and still on an upward trajectory – opposed to an older transfer, like Bolton, who might have already peaked at the mid-major level.


Check out some clip of new Arkansas baseball transfer portal commit Charles Davalan:

On Sunday, Arkansas added another transfer in Carson Hansen. Read about him here:


More coverage of Arkansas baseball and the transfer portal from BoAS…

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