Duke Blue Devils infielder Wil Hoyle signed on Saturday at Mississippi State.
The latest pickup for the Diamond Dawgs could be a huge steal. Hoyle is a hitter who opted out of playing professional ball after high school: He was drafted in the 38th round of the 2017 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics. His ability to play on both sides of home plate makes him a great match for almost any pitcher, and he brings years of experience against hundreds of opponents to the young MSU program.
The 5-foot-9, 170-pound graduate transfer from Durham, North Carolina has shown steady growth during his time as the Blue Devil. Hoyle received a redshirt in 2018 before seeing playing time in each of the following four seasons. The veteran finished the 2022 season with a .201 batting average and .333 on-base percentage. He had 33 hits while driving 17 RBIs and scoring 26 runs. Four of Hoyle’s hits were doubles and another four homered over the outfield wall.
Defensively, Hoyle will provide much-needed depth in the infield, with experience at second base and shortstop positions. Hoyle posted a .966 fielding percentage during his college career, including a .969 overall field percentage in the 2022 season. He also had 75 strikeouts and 112 assists with just six errors this year.
Scroll to continue
Hoyle’s ability to contribute to his team in different ways might be even more impressive than his abilities at home plate. He finished the year with a team-high 12 stolen bases and was walked out on 26 times, including at least once in each of the first seven games of the season.
Hoyle joins position players Bill Knight, Amani Larry and Colton Ledbetter as well as pitchers Nate Dohm, Landon Gartman and Aaron Nixon as new members of the Mississippi State baseball program. The seven transfers will likely be joined by other new faces in the coming weeks.