Vanderbilt transfer is 8th addition via portal for Mark Kingston’s Gamecocks

·2 min read
Dwayne McLemore/dmclemore@thestate.com

South Carolina baseball coach Mark Kingston said Tuesday that the Gamecocks might not be done adding players from the transfer portal.

He wasn’t kidding.

A day after making those comments, Kingston and the Gamecocks picked up a commitment from former Vanderbilt first baseman Gavin Casas — the eighth transfer to commit to USC this offseason. Casas played primarily off the bench during his two seasons with the Commodores, but he did hit .294 with a home run and 14 RBI in 22 games last season.

At 6-foot-3, 225-pounds, Casas offers size and strength from the left-handed side of the plate and could help make up for the loss of graduated first baseman Brandt Belk, the team’s leading hitter last season. Out of high school in Florida, Casas was ranked the fifth-best first baseman in the country by Perfect Game. His older brother, Triston Casas, was a first-round selection by the Boston Red Sox in the 2018 MLB Draft and ranks as the organization’s No. 2 prospect on MLB.com.

Kingston and the Gamecocks are looking to bolster a starting lineup that ranked last in the SEC in team batting average (.266), slugging percentage (.413) and second-to-last in runs scored (313) last season. Of the eight transfers USC has added, six are position players.

The Gamecocks have also lost six players to the portal since the season ended, including starting pitcher Julian Bosnic — who entered the portal Tuesday night.

“We could potentially add a couple more out of the portal,” Kingston said. “It’s just a matter of needs and does it make sense for where we are? I would say we’re getting close to being done because of the volume we’ve added already. But we’re always on the lookout for somebody that can help us.

“At this point, we’re in a position to just go best player available. I feel good about the depth on the offensive and the pitching side. So now it’s just best player available and if it’s somebody that moves the needle in terms of what we already have on our roster.”

South Carolina baseball transfer commits

RHP Nick Proctor — California RHP Ricky Williams — Clemson 1B/OF Dylan Brewer — Clemson 1B Gavin Casas — Vanderbilt 1B/OF Jacob Compton — Memphis C Jonathan French — Clemson

INF/OF Caleb Denny — Oral Roberts

INF/RHP Chris Veach — Presbyterian

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