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 USC Upstate transfer Koby Kropf

The graduate transfer will bring depth to Tim Corbin’s batting lineup.
Barrie Barto
Vanderbilt plays High Point at its NCAA Regional, as photographed on June 1, 2024. (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto)

Koby Kropf, an outfielder from USC Upstate, has committed to Vanderbilt, marking head coach Tim Corbin’s fifth portal commitment this offseason. After attending two years of junior college, Kropf transferred to USC Upstate for two years. He blossomed into a true power hitter in 2024, as he slashed .352 while racking up 21 doubles and 20 home runs. While these numbers are impressive, one of the biggest critiques of Kropf is that he didn’t consistently face SEC-level competition at USC Upstate. Nevertheless, in a series against Kentucky, he was able to hit a home run and draw four walks. He also smashed a grand slam against Clemson in the top of the eighth to lead his team past the Tigers. His impressive power, paired with his ability to compete at high levels, albeit in short spurts, indicates that his skills should translate to the SEC. 

After suffering losses to Coastal Carolina and High Point in its NCAA Regional, Vanderbilt Baseball has looked to the transfer portal to replace key pieces on its roster. In the past, Corbin has been hesitant to utilize the portal, relying on a developmental approach with its rostered players and commits instead. However, this offseason, he’s clearly adjusted his approach, as Vanderbilt has now added five transfers just weeks after the end of the season. This total already exceeds last year’s number of four transfers.

In a Vanderbilt offense that struggled to leave the park this season, Kropf could be a critical piece in restoring a once-potent offense. The graduate transfer has one year of eligibility remaining and should start to begin the season. He has experience at both catcher and in the outfield, so it remains unclear where Corbin will choose to play him defensively, and will likely depend on what other transfers the Commodores bring in. 

Corbin and Co. have relied heavily on the transfer portal through the beginning parts of the offseason. With hitters Matt Ossenfort and Ray Velazquez having already entered the portal, it seems that the Commodores will continue to search for more bats to bolster its lineup.

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About the Contributors
Henry Oelhafen
Henry Oelhafen, Deputy Sports Editor
Henry Oelhafen (‘26) is a student in Peabody College majoring in human and organizational development and minoring in business. Henry grew up as a Vanderbilt sports fan and loves to talk about both professional and amateur golf. In addition to writing, he loves to play golf with friends, hike and try new restaurants. He can be reached at [email protected].
Barrie Barto
Barrie Barto, Editor-in-Chief
Barrie Barto ('25) is majoring in medicine, health & society with neuroscience and communication of science & technology minors in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as Photography Director. When she's not strolling around campus with her camera, you can find Barrie cheering on the St. Louis Blues or tracking down the best gluten-free food in Nashville. She can be reached at [email protected].
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