The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Baseball: Vanderbilt lands two transfer portal commitments in left-handed pitcher Joseph Dzierwa and utility player David Mendez

Dzierwa was a weekend starter at Michigan State and Mendez won the A-10 Freshman of the Year award while playing for Dayton.
Alondra Moya
Vanderbilt gathers on the mound, as photographed on April 27, 2024. (Hustler Multimedia/Alondra Moya)

Head coach Tim Corbin has wasted little time this offseason, hitting the Transfer Portal to patch some of the losses that Vanderbilt’s dealt with — and will continue to deal with — this summer. With some players aging out and others getting serious traction for the 2024 MLB Draft next month, the Commodores have holes all over the roster, from bats to arms. While Corbin isn’t known to hit the portal heavy every offseason, he’s certainly taken a more aggressive approach this year, as he’s already brought in the same amount of transfers as last year (4) in just over two weeks since the season ended.

Joseph Dzierwa – left-handed pitcher

Dzierwa marked the third player, and pitcher, that Vanderbilt landed this offseason via the transfer portal, with Cody Bowker and Tommy O’Rourke committing last week. 

Dzierwa, an Ohio native, comes to the Commodores from Michigan State, where he made 22 appearances in his two years with the Spartans. As a freshman, Dzierwa made started eight times while relieving 3, gathering a 5-3 record with a 4.67 ERA across 52 innings pitched. His performance was strong enough to earn him a Big 10 All-Freshman Team selection while leading the team in wins, starts, innings pitched and strikeouts. As a sophomore, he was an All-Big 10 Second Team selection, bettering his record (6-3) and lowering his ERA (4.07) while starting every game he appeared in (14). He did this all while eating some important innings for the Spartans, tallying an impressive 84.0 innings pitched. Dzierwa’s 91 strikeouts were second in the conference and more than all but two of Vanderbilt’s pitchers this year (Bryce Cunningham and Carter Holton). 

Dzierwa is a tall and lengthy left-hander, standing at 6’7, and the former Michigan State ace will likely become a staple in the Commodores’ 2025 weekend rotation. An elite combination of size, skill and grit sets up Dzierwa to be an immediate impact arm for Vanderbilt next season.

David Mendez – utility

David Mendez was the 2024 A-10 Freshman of the Year and follows former Dayton head coach Jayson King, now a Vanderbilt assistant, to West End. Mendez announced his commitment to the Commodores via social media.  

Although formally listed on the Dayton website as an infielder, Mendez fulfilled a true utility role for the Flyers, playing every position except catcher and first base. He started 18 games in left field and 8 in right field, positions that Vanderbilt didn’t get enough offensive impact from in 2023. At the plate for the Flyers, Mendez tabbed a .342 batting average and .505 slugging percentage with 65 hits, nine doubles, two triples and six home runs. He also drew more walks (30) than he struck out (29), earning him a commendable .442 on-base percentage. 

Although Mendez isn’t the elite power hitter that Vanderbilt will likely look to bring in through the portal, he is a welcome addition to the roster. He gets on base often and provides invaluable flexibility on defense. Vanderbilt continues to hunt for both bats and arms in the portal, once again beckoning the idea that head coach Tim Corbin is using the portal to fill necessary holes in the roster.

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About the Contributors
Grace Hall
Grace Hall, Deputy Sports Editor
Grace Hall (‘26) is from Belfast, Maine, and is majoring in public policy studies in the College of Arts and Science. Grace is also the vice-president of the Vanderbilt Club Field Hockey Team. When not writing for The Hustler you can find her watching the Boston Red Sox or Celtics, reading or at a concert. You can reach her at [email protected].
Alondra Moya
Alondra Moya, Staff Photographer
Alondra Moya (‘26) is majoring in child development in Peabody College. When not shooting for The Hustler, you can find her spending time outside, at the gym or watching stand-up comedy. You can reach her at [email protected].
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