Arkansas’ Best Hitter Among Transfers Has One Last Box to Check

Logan Maxwell, TCU baseball, Arkansas baseball, transfer portal, MLB Draft
photo credit: TCU Athletics

There was a time when Logan Maxwell single-handedly shut down tennis practice at Shawnee High — an impressive feat for a baseball player.

With the tennis courts only about 20 feet beyond the right field fence at the Lima, Ohio, school’s baseball field, though, it was necessary when Maxwell took batting practice because he’d pepper them with home runs.

That power helped him continue his career in the Big 12, but then it disappeared during his time at TCU. His search for it again led him to the transfer portal and ultimately the Arkansas baseball program, where he hopes to rediscover it in his final season of eligibility.

“I feel like when I got to college, I lost that pull-side lift and power somehow, and that’s what I’m trying to unlock again,” Maxwell told Best of Arkansas Sports. “I can backspin a baseball to left center, I can backspin a baseball to left field (and) center field, but I feel like I’ve had trouble the last year or two backspinning a ball pull-side, so if I can find that again, I think the power will be unlocked.”

Of course, that would just be a bonus for the Razorbacks.

Even though he homered only three times, Maxwell still had a very productive 2024 season for the Horned Frogs. He hit .335, had more walks (30) than strikeouts (23) and stole 10 bases, making him one of the top prospects in the transfer portal and a priority for an Arkansas team looking to rebuild its outfield.

Best of Arkansas Sports caught up with Maxwell to talk about his decision to pick the Razorbacks earlier this month and the one thing that could prevent him from actually suiting up in the cardinal and white.

From Ohio to TCU to Arkansas

Despite growing up in the northwest Ohio town of Lima, Logan Maxwell managed to catch the attention of TCU’s coaching staff thanks to his travel ball team.

The summer before his junior year of high school, a solid showing at the PBR Future Games at LakePoint in Cartersville, Ga., did enough to earn him an invitation to a camp in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs, who were coached by Jim Schlossnagle at the time, liked what they saw in a little bit more of an extended look at him, so they brought him back for an official visit during the fall.

Even though the TCU football team lost a wild shootout against rival SMU the weekend he was in town, Maxwell saw enough to know that it was where he wanted to go. A day after returning home, he told his parents he was ready to commit.

Fast forward a couple of years and his dream was a reality, but it didn’t exactly get off to a smooth start.

Ranked as the No. 285 overall player in the 2021 class by Perfect Game, Maxwell was one of the Horned Frogs’ top freshmen and actually started 21 games. However, he hit just .194 with only four extra-base hits — all of which were doubles — and 12 RBIs.

The following year, he emerged as a starter at TCU and slashed .300/.418/.460 while battling hamstring injuries that limited him to 33 starts. Maxwell collected 10 extra-base hits that season, including two home runs — which happened to come in back-to-back games against Texas and UTRGV.

As a junior in 2024, he opened the season as the Horned Frogs’ starting left fielder before moving to designated hitter and slashing .335/.447/.482 with three home runs and 25 RBIs while starting 46 games.

“I had a few hamstring issues the last couple years, so they were trying to manage me better and the coaches thought that they could manage me better by DH-ing me compared to playing the extra stress on my legs,” Maxwell said. “They wanted my bat in the lineup as much as possible, so the DH role they felt was the best option for half the year.”

It doesn’t sound like there are any hard feelings over the move, though. Maxwell made it a point to say he left TCU on good terms and that nothing in particular happened to prompt his decision to enter the portal. Rather, he was just looking for something different.

His increased production earned him an opportunity to play in the prestigious Cape Cod League this summer, but he passed on it because he wanted to focus on taking visits.

That started with trips to Arkansas and Ole Miss on back-to-back days. Maxwell made the 12-hour drive home after his time in Oxford, but planned to visit Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and LSU the following week. He also talked to coaches of a few ACC schools, like Virginia Tech.

However, after thinking it over, he realized that the Razorbacks and Rebels were his top two choices and decided to cancel the future visits.

Maxwell — who is ranked as the No. 30 overall player in the portal by 64Analytics — ultimately picked Arkansas, announcing his decision on June 20. He was blown away by the facilities and resources in Fayetteville, but it was the potential development in a certain aspect of his game that made the difference.

“For my last year, if I stay in college and the draft doesn’t work out, kind of looking for a place where they value power and I feel like one part of my game that lacks compared to others is the power aspect,” Maxwell said. “Coach (Nate) Thompson and Coach (Bobby) Wernes do a great job of developing that and that’s kind of what I was looking for in this process, so that’s one of the main reasons why Arkansas stood out to me at first.”

Looming Decision for Logan Maxwell

Because he’s not playing summer ball, Logan Maxwell is back home in Ohio and spending a lot of time in the weight room while also getting at bats against a few pitchers around his hometown.

Considering his production in the Big 12, many fans have penciled him in as a starter once he arrives in Fayetteville, but there is one more hurdle the Razorbacks must clear before that can happen: the MLB Draft.

With three years of college baseball under his belt, Maxwell is eligible to be selected during his year’s event, which is scheduled for July 14-16.

This has come up each of the last two summers, too. In 2022, the Razorbacks landed big-time transfer commitments from South Carolina’s Julian Bosnic and UC-Santa Barbara’s Jordan Sprinkle, only for them to get drafted and sign professionally. Last year, it was Indiana’s Craig Yoho who did the same.

It remains to be seen whether or not Maxwell will be the next “what if” from the portal. He said he’s had some conversations with scouts, including from the Kansas City Royals, so it’s certainly possible and something to keep an eye on.

“They mentioned either, if everything goes right, Day 2, hopefully Day 3, is what they said,” Maxwell said. “But for me, it’s not, ‘If I get drafted, I’m going to sign.’ It’s got to be smart financially and smart in the long run because I only have one year left of school, so whatever is the right decision for my future is what I’m going to decide on. If I get drafted, that’d be dream come true, but I’m not guaranteed to sign.”

One thing Maxwell will have to consider is that he’s a junior this year. In baseball, that’s significant because he still has the leverage of remaining eligibility.

If a team drafts him and doesn’t offer him enough money, he can simply turn it down and return to college — which, in his case, means officially joining the Arkansas baseball program.

However, by playing for the Razorbacks next year, Maxwell would enter the 2025 MLB Draft as a senior needing to accept whatever a pro franchise offers him. That’s going to be significantly less than what players with remaining eligibility receive.

Perhaps adding power to everything else he brings to the table would be worth it for Maxwell in the long run, especially if NIL helps make up for some of the difference in signing as a junior vs. as a senior, but it’s something he’ll have to weigh in the coming weeks.

What it Means for Arkansas Baseball

The Razorbacks are certainly hoping to get Logan Maxwell to campus because he fills a couple of major needs on the 2025 roster.

First of all, he’s an experienced outfielder in a major conference. Maxwell said the coaching staff told him pretty much the entire 2024 outfield would be gone, which is accurate.

Peyton Holt, Ty Wilmsmeyer and Ross Lovich exhausted their eligibility, while Jayson Jones entered the transfer portal. The only “question mark” Arkansas’ coaches told him was Kendall Diggs, who many believed was still a lock to get drafted until news came out that he needed surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Even if Diggs returned and remained in the outfield, there’d be a couple of spots up for grabs. Maxwell would be a favorite to land one — over Will Edmunson, a handful of high school signees and a few other transfer portal commits.

Although he was a good center fielder in high school, even winning a Gold Glove award, Maxwell was primarily a left fielder at TCU before moving to designated hitter because of his aforementioned hamstring issues.

That’s likely where he’d end up at Arkansas, based on his conversations with the coaches, but he could also be an option in center, assuming he stays healthy.

Where Maxwell would really help is with the bat. The Razorbacks’ offensive struggles this past season are well documented. The outfield, in particular, didn’t do much at all at the plate until Holt moved out there.

The five players expected to fill those three spots this season combined to hit just .232 with 15 home runs and 90 RBIs.

Not only did Maxwell have a batting average more than 100 points better than that, but he also fits the description of the kind of player Dave Van Horn said he wanted to add to his lineup next year.

He’s already good at some of the small-ball stuff the Razorbacks are looking for, so any power he unlocks in Fayetteville would just be icing on the cake.

“I feel like I’m a Swiss Army knife,” Maxwell said. “I can bunt for a hit, I can sac bunt, I can — hopefully playing in a better ballpark compared to Lupton (Stadium at TCU) — play for more power. I get on first, I’m always a threat to steal a base.

“So I can do a lot of things on offense. Hopefully, if I add power to it, then I feel like I can really be a key factor in Arkansas’ success, too.”

Fortunately for the Arkansas tennis team, its courts are behind Baum-Walker Stadium and more than half a mile away, so they are in no danger if Logan Maxwell achieves his goal.

***

Check out some more clips of Logan Maxwell from his time in the TCU baseball program:

***

Here’s how the 2025 Arkansas baseball roster is shaping up, with Logan Maxwell and eight other players from the transfer portal:

***

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

Facebook Comments