Transfer Portal Status Check: Ranking Arkansas’ Most Impactful Losses + Assessing the Additions

Aiden Jimenez, Jayson Jones, Arkansas baseball, transfer portal
photo credit: OSU Athletics / Twitter/Jayson Jones

The transfer portal officially closed for college baseball earlier this week and Arkansas came out of the window relatively unscathed.

Only five Razorbacks opted to leave the program, which is the fewest in the SEC, according to the database on 64Analytics.

The other 15 teams in the conference, including newcomers Oklahoma and Texas from the Big 12, saw an average of 11.4 players enter the portal, so Arkansas managed to keep its losses to less than half of that.

“I don’t feel like guys want to leave here, honestly,” Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn said last week. “We’ve got a lot going around here that helps kids get better. We treat them right. You know when you probably need to go, but I feel real good about the guys that are coming back and the guys leaving were kind of expected.”

Impressively, the Longhorns had the second-fewest (7) despite experiencing a coaching change. LSU had the most departures with 17, which trails only Ohio State (18) and Louisville (18) among teams from major conferences.

Circling back to Arkansas, Van Horn’s squad has also been among the biggest winners in the transfer portal.

As of Friday morning, the Razorbacks have the No. 2 overall transfer class in the country, according to 64Analytics. They’re behind only Georgia and just ahead of Kentucky (No. 3) and LSU (No. 4).

Of course, that list is still evolving because while players are no longer permitted to enter the portal (barring a coaching change), they are still free to commit to their new school.

Most notably, defending national champion Tennessee has just two portal commitments so far and is No. 97 nationally, which is next-to-last (ahead of only Missouri) in the SEC. The Volunteers obviously got a late jump on things because of their long stay in Omaha, but did reel in Louisville shortstop Gavin Kilen (No. 4 overall) on the Fourth of July.

It would not be surprising at all for Tony Vitello to land a few more big-time transfers and shoot up those rankings.

Even if Tennessee or another school ends up moving past Arkansas in the rankings, though, the Razorbacks will almost certainly maintain their status as having one of the largest net-positives in terms of transfer portal movement.

With only five losses and 11 additions so far, Arkansas is plus-six. That is tied with Lamar for the largest net gain in the country, with Duke and Austin Peay coming in right behind them at plus-five.

Here’s a closer look at the Razorbacks’ efforts in the transfer portal, as of July 5… 

Ranking Arkansas Baseball’s Losses

As mentioned above, five Arkansas baseball players entered the transfer portal during the window that closed Tuesday. Here’s a look at those players, listed from most- to least-significant:

OF Jayson Jones

While he hit only .195 in 118 at bats across two seasons in Fayetteville, Jayson Jones has the potential to become a “what if” story for the Razorbacks. A heralded prospect coming out of high school who was once a projected top-10 pick, Jones possesses elite power. If he can harness it by cutting down the strikeouts and making more contact, he could still be a high MLB Draft pick.

Formerly an infielder who once competed for the third base job at Arkansas, Jones moved to the outfield last season and has played both spots in the Cape Cod League this summer. That defensive flexibility should help, but not as much as going somewhere he can get consistent playing time and hopefully work through the struggles that plagued him with the Razorbacks.

Perhaps he’ll get that at Oklahoma State, where he has already announced he’ll play next season. If nothing else, the change in scenery might be just what Jones needs to reach his sky-high potential.

LHP Adam Hachman

He never even appeared in a scrimmage at Arkansas, but Adam Hachman’s mere presence in Fayetteville last season was viewed as a major win because he was a legitimate MLB Draft prospect coming out of high school. Perfect Game ranked him as the No. 58 overall recruit in the 2023 class and MLB Pipeline tabbed him the 101st-best prospect for last year’s draft.

Scouts were drooling over Hachman because he had already touched triple-digits with his fastball. Unfortunately, his senior year was cut short by an injury. It was originally believed to require Tommy John surgery, but he ended up getting the internal brace procedure that left open the possibility of him pitching as a freshman.

That never came to fruition, though. When asked about his progress a few times, Dave Van Horn insinuated he was struggling with his command and not ready to pitch in real games. If he can get completely healthy and figure out that aspect of his game, Hachman could still become a coveted pro prospect.

OF Will Edmunson

As a transfer from Hutchinson C.C., the same school that produced Ben McLaughlin, Will Edmunson was a dark horse candidate to start in the Razorbacks’ outfield last season. After all, he was competing against the likes of Kendall Diggs, Ty Wilmsmeyer, Ross Lovich and Jayson Jones for the three spots.

The offensive struggles of those players, though, opened the door to him getting an opportunity. Edmunson started 22 games and appeared in another 17, but also struggled at the plate. He slashed just .241/.362/.333 with one home run and 10 RBIs in 87 at bats.

Considering Arkansas is once again bringing in a slew of outfielders, it wasn’t particularly surprising he opted to hit the transfer portal on the final day it was open. Edmunson may not possess the same raw power as Jones, but he does have a higher ceiling than his .241 average indicates — something he might have been able to show in a second season in the SEC had he stayed.

OF Kade Smith

Originally inked as an infielder/right-handed pitcher, Kade Smith spent his lone season with the Razorbacks as an outfielder. He never appeared in a game, though, instead using his redshirt.

Despite being ranked as the No. 333 overall recruit in the 2023 class by Perfect Game, Smith probably faced an uphill battle for significant playing time in Fayetteville because of all of the incoming transfers.

It is always a bummer to see an in-state player leave, but the Searcy native and Harding Academy product might have a better chance to play elsewhere — either at a JUCO or lower-level program.

OF Hunter Grimes

Our decision to slot Hunter Grimes as the least-impactful transfer portal departure is mostly based on the fact that he was believed to be out of eligibility. He was already a sixth-year senior in 2024 and did not appear in a single game. It’s still unclear how he can play next year, but he’ll presumably get a medical redshirt for one of his previous seasons.

Grimes did play sparingly in 2023, appearing in 19 games with five starts. Most of those starts were necessitated because of injuries to Tavian Josenberger and Jared Wegner. He hit just .185 with 14 strikeouts in 27 at bats, but Grimes did make arguably the biggest play of the year when he threw out the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the eighth inning of an eventual 7-5 win over Texas A&M.

Assessing the Transfer Portal Additions

On the Mound

  • LHP Landon Beidelschies — Ohio State
  • RHP Aiden Jimenez — Oregon State
  • LHP Zach Root — East Carolina

The Razorbacks have arguably the best transfer portal haul of pitchers in the country, highlighted by two of the top three left-handers available in Landon Beidelschies from Ohio State and Zach Root from East Carolina. Both of them are expected to be part of a fierce competition for Arkansas’ three weekend rotation spots.

The addition of Aiden Jimenez shouldn’t be discounted either, as he flashed some as a freshman in 2023 and shined in the Cape Cod League that summer before suffering an arm injury shortly before the start of this season. Prior to getting hurt, he figured to compete for a starting role at Oregon State. Assuming he comes back healthy, he could do the same at Arkansas, but at the very least, he could be a solid bullpen addition.

In the Field

  • DH/1B/OF Kuhio Aloy — BYU
  • 1B Michael Anderson — Rhode Island
  • OF Carson Boles — Lincoln Memorial
  • OF Charles Davalan — Florida Gulf Coast
  • OF Carson Hansen — Milwaukee
  • SS Maximus Martin — Georgia State
  • OF Logan Maxwell — TCU
  • OF Rocco Peppi — Fresno State

There is still a chance Kendall Diggs returns for his senior season because of offseason shoulder surgery, but otherwise, the Razorbacks will be tasked with replacing all of their outfielders from last year. Considering their lack of production, that might be a good thing.

Logan Maxwell, checking in at No. 34 on 64Analytics, is probably the crown jewel, but he is also eligible for the MLB Draft and told Best of Arkansas Sports that it’s possible he signs professionally this summer. He hit .335 at TCU this season, though, so getting him to campus would be huge.

Rocco Peppi (No. 36) and Charles Davalan (No. 49) are the other top-50 portal commitments for Arkansas baseball and both of them are expected to be outfielders, as are the two Carsons — Hansen and Boles.

Even Maximus Martin, who is primarily a shortstop, is capable of playing in the outfield, while Kuhio Aloy was listed as an outfielder at BYU, despite mostly serving as a designated hitter.

The only position player who doesn’t figure to be in the mix for the outfield at all is Michael Anderson, who is a first baseman.

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Check out how the 2025 Arkansas baseball roster is coming together:

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

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