The loss of third baseman Skyler Messinger by the Kansas Jayhawks is the gain of the Texas Longhorns, as the All-Big 12 second team honoree is transferring to the Forty Acres, according to Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball.com on Wednesday.
TRANSFER NEWS: @KUBaseball infielder Skyler Messinger, who hit .324 with tow homers and 39 RBIs in 2021, is transferring to @TexasBaseball. Nice portal pickup for the #Horns.— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) July 14, 2021
UPDATED TRACKER: https://t.co/eelVMcSnnD
On Sunday, Messinger confirmed his decision.
I want to thank my teammates, coaches and the University of Kansas for four of the best years of my life. That being said, I couldn’t be more excited to announce that I will be finishing my college baseball career at the University of Texas as a graduate transfer. #HookEm pic.twitter.com/DZVV804Qlw— Skyler Messinger (@MessingerSkye) July 18, 2021
As the 2021 MLB Draft unfolded, reports swirled connecting Messinger and Texas, so when third baseman Cam Williams was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 19th round with the No. 559 overall pick, Longhorns head coach David Pierce moved quickly to find his replacement with Williams certain to sign with the Royals.
A Colorado native from outside of Boulder, Messinger improved quickly after struggling at the plate as a part-time starter during his freshman season, hitting .280 with 16 doubles and three triples, before truly breaking out in 2021. The 6’3, 220-pounder led Kansas in batting average (.324), games played (56), games started (56), at bats (213), runs (43), hits (69), doubles (19), RBI (39) and slugging percentage (.460). At the end of the regular season, his 19 doubles tied for 12th nationally and complemented his 20 multi-hit games.
Messinger doesn’t have the home run power possessed by Williams with only six total in his career, but he does have gap-to-gap power and it’s possible that working with Troy Tulowitzki and the Texas staff can help unlock enough pop to turn some of those extra-base hits into home runs.
In any case, the Longhorns quickly found a one-year solution to the void at third base that Williams will leave and the overall ability of Messinger will ensure there’s not a drop off at the position. In fact, while Messinger won’t hit as many home runs or take as many walks as Williams, he cut down on his strikeouts significantly in 2021, so he’ll make contact more often.