Julian Tonghini pitches against Michigan

Portal closes, 12 Hoosiers moving on, 5 portal commitments so far

Indiana’s projected roster for 2025 is taking shape

By Carl James @jovian34 July 4th, 2024

Correction July 7th, 2024: Nathan Ball was originally listed in this article as having been in the 2024 transfer portal. Ball converted to a team manager for 2024 and graduated this spring. We have confirmed with multiple sources that his listing in D1Baseball.com’s transfer tracker was an error. I regret republishing that information without verifying. -Carl James

Tuesday, July 2nd, was the last day for NCAA Division I college baseball players to enter the transfer portal. We at iubase.com have been tracking the portal and by our count 12 Hoosiers will be seeking to play baseball at another institution.

Brayden Bakes | Austin Bode
Brandon Burckel | Hayden Carlson | Brooks Ey
Cooper Katskee | Brandon Keyster | Ethan Phillips
Ryan Rushing | Cal Sefcik | Julian Tonghini | Evan Whiteaker
were all in the transfer portal as of the writing of this article

The most notable defections would be lefty pitcher Brandon Keyster, righty pitcher Julian Tonghini, and designated hitter Austin Bode. Keyster had one of the best performances by a Hoosier at the Knoxville regional, tossing 4 scoreless against Southern Miss although the game was already out of hand. The John A Logan Community College product had been given opening duties on consecutive Fridays while Connor Foley was injured. Tonghini was up and down in the season, but got a lot of attention given the movement of his off-speed offerings. Bode was the most effective hitter in this group of transfers with a .833 OPS due in large part to the 9 walks he earned.

In total this group represents what we are seeing on a national level: the vast majority of portal players are simply looking for an opportunity to play more or want a change in scenery after a struggling season. Austin Bode, for example was just not able to get a lot plate appearances given the depth of the Hoosier offense. With the bulk of the 2020 Covid waivers finally out of eligibility (medical waivers are exceptions), there may be more plate appearance to be had on rosters that relied on older talent. Indiana has a much more young offense and that looks to remain true going into 2025.

On the pitching end, the loss of relied on arms Keyster, Tonghini, as well as Ethan Phillips and Ryan Rushing who had big bright spots in the season is a little more of a sting. Unlike position players, one or two guys are not going to be enough to block you from playing. If you can get guys out there are over 300 programs where you will see action and Indiana is absolutely included in that. These four arms in particular, I would have expected to play a role in the 2025 pitching staff.

Who is not on the list?

Given the past two seasons of portal activity on the national stage, it was understandable that many Indiana fans (and even some of us at iubase.com) were nervous about top talent going after big NIL dollars in the SEC/ACC via the portal. The three biggest names in the 2025 MLB Draft board from this team: Devin Taylor, Tyler Cerny, and Andrew Wiggins are all doing big things in summer baseball including Taylor who is playing for Team USA. None of them are seeking transfers which is huge for the 2025 Hoosier lineup.

Tyler DeMartino | Korbyn Dickerson | Cole Gilley
Anthony Gubitosi | Gavin Seebold
have made verbal commitments to transfer to Indiana this fall

With Carter Mathison and Nick Mitchell likely getting drafted, along with Morgan Colopy and Sam Murrison graduated, Indiana added some depth to the outfield behind Taylor and Wiggins in Tyler DeMartino and Korbyn Dickerson. DeMartino, a sixth year player out of Xavier, missed 2024 with an injury and will provide a veteran bat. Dickerson, a redshirt sophomore from Louisville will bring ACC experience to the Hoosiers and compete for more playing time.

On the mound the Hoosiers have added redshirt senior righty Cole Gilley from Indiana State. The Sycamores are bleeding talent since the departure of head coach Mitch Hannahs to USF out of the Big 12. Pitching Coach Dustin Glant will also add a pair of proven lefty inning-eaters in Anthony Gubitosi from Delaware and Gavin Seebold from Southern Indiana.

What is the projected roster looking like for Indiana?

We at iubase.com have a new Player Tracking app where we aggregate publicly available information on players and among other things project a list of players expected to be on the Indiana campus in the fall. As of the publication of this article this includes 38 players. This includes returning players, including players from the previous fall who did not make the spring roster. It includes high school commitments and the transfer commitments discussed earlier in this article. Division-I allows for 40 players on the spring roster.

Removed from this list are players with eligibility who have entered the transfer portal or are attending the MLB Draft Combine. We selected the combine as our third-party predictor of likelihood to go in the current draft. That being said, attendance at the combine does not mean one will be drafted and sign to go pro. An example from 2023 was incoming freshman Wiggins, who despite combine attendance and mashing a ball 435 feet, came to Bloomington for his freshman season. Jake Hanely is the one freshman commitment attending the combine this summer.

Also not attending the combine does not mean a draft eligible player won’t be drafted. For example, Craig Yoho was drafted last summer and is shoving in the minor leagues, despite not attending the combine. While not among the players at the combine, Tyler Cerny and Jacob Vogel have received some draft attention as eligible sophomores.

What else could we be missing?

We base this off of publicly available information. Two common situations we could potentially be missing on is a player that simply quits playing altogether instead of entering the transfer portal and players who are granted a retroactive waiver (usually for medical reasons) from an earlier season that includes an extension of the five-year “clock” a player usually has to spend 4-years of eligibility. We have to wait on the program or the player to make formal announcements in these cases.

Edit July 7th: There is also the possibility a player in the transfer portal could re-commit to Indiana. That is more common in the case of coaching changes where the new staff has to re-recruit their former players and often succeed. While Indiana is not in that boat, re-committing a portal entrant is not out of the question.

Going Forward

The MLB Draft and signing period is this month. There are also a lot of uncommitted players in the transfer portal. It is likely that some teams are holding off on committing some portal options until they see what happens to current players and incoming freshmen in the draft. We will keep this app updated daily as we get closer to the start of fall workouts. All of these can be accessed via the “Player Tracking” portion of the menu at the top of this website.