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Tennessee Baseball Lands Kennesaw State Transfer Pitcher

Photo via Kennesaw State Athletics

Kennesaw State transfer pitcher Tanner Franklin committed to Tennessee baseball on Tuesday, he shared on his Instagram

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Franklin who played his high school baseball at Jefferson County and is an East Tennessee native. Franklin is a rising junior who’s had moderate success in his two seasons at Kennesaw State.

The right-handed pitcher posted a 4-1 record and 5.60 ERA in 27.1 innings pitched in his sophomore season. Franklin made 21 total appearances and just one start, earning five saves as a reliever. Walks were an issue for Franklin in each of his first two collegiate seasons including 27 last season.

But the 6-foot-5, 240-pound reliever boasts an upper 90s fastball and has a high ceiling. His strikeout numbers amplify it. Franklin sat down 43 batters in his 27.1 innings last season while opponents hit just .212 off of the Jefferson City native. Franklin also throws a slider and a cutter off of his high-end fastball.

Franklin is playing his summer baseball in the Cape Cod League— largely considered the best collegiate summer league in the country— and met with Tennessee associate head coach Josh Elander over the weekend.

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Franklin is the first player that Tennessee has landed out of the transfer portal this offseason though they also won a recruiting battle to land junior college right-handed pitcher Thomas Crabtree out of Pearl River Community College in Mississippi.

Tony Vitello and the Vols are looking to bolster a pitching staff that expects to lose a multitude of key arms off of their National Championship winning team. Kirby Connell, Zander Sechrist and Chris Stamos are out of eligibility, Drew Beam is definitively off to professional baseball and AJ Causey and Aaron Combs will most likely do the same.

Tennessee also lost a trio of pitchers to the transfer portal earlier this offseason— left-handers Wyatt Evans and Matthew Dallas as well as right-hander Derek Schaefer. None of the trio had a major role on last season’s team though Dallas and Schaefer were both freshmen that were highly touted coming out of high school.

Nate Snead, AJ Russell, Marcus Phillips, Dylan Loy and Andrew Behnke are the most notable returning arms for Tennessee baseball entering the 2025 season.

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