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 former JMU infielder Mike Mancini from transfer portal

Mancini will bring offensive and defensive depth to the Commodores after two stellar seasons for the Dukes.
Miguel Beristain
Alan Espinal celebrates a home run with teammates, as photographed on April 27, 2024 (Hustler Multimedia/Miguel Beristain)

Vanderbilt landed its seventh player from the transfer portal on Monday evening when Mike Mancini, a rising junior, who previously played for James Madison University, announced his commitment via social media. Mancini, an Endwell, N.Y. native, was the No. 70 ranked player in the transfer portal and seems poised to make an immediate impact at the plate and in the field for the Commodores. 

Mancini is the second power bat that head coach Tim Corbin has picked up in the transfer portal, the first being Koby Kropf’s commitment in June. Mancini had a breakout season for the Dukes, slashing .329 while collecting 15 home runs, 61 runs, and 41 RBIs. Most notably, he hit four home runs in one day at the Raleigh Regional against South Carolina and NC State (two apiece). JMU played a challenging schedule this season, finishing No. 46 in the RPI rankings, further proving the legitimacy of Mancini’s bat’s power and his potential ceiling. Equally impressive is that Mancini also obtained a 1.00 on-base percentage and stole 29 bags, making him a pure offensive threat at the plate and on the base paths. 

With the likely departure of two-year starters and infielders Jonathan Vastine (SS) and Davis Diaz (3B) via the MLB Draft later this month, Mancinis’s experience as a second baseman and shortstop on a postseason qualifying team is definitely a plus. While it isn’t yet clear where he’ll end up on the field, his versatility as a middle infielder will help keep him in the lineup consistently. 

After the VandyBoys only had two players hit double-digit home runs in 2024, the coaching staff went out and added two more power hitters via the portal. This is just another sign that Corbin and new coaching additions Jayson King and Ty Blankmeyer recognize the need for experienced power hitters to truly compete in the SEC. Going after high-upside and fundamentally talented impact players in the portal who appears to be the Commodores’ focus, as they will look to round out their roster in the coming months.

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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].
Miguel Beristain
Miguel Beristain, Senior Staff Photographer
Miguel Beristain (’24) is a philosophy and cellular and molecular biology double major in the College of Arts and Science from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. When not shooting for The Hustler, he can usually be found playing Magic the Gathering, exploring new restaurants or practicing guitar. He can be reached at .
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