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Baseball: Tennessee adds AAC player of the year Griffin Merritt

He comes in from Cincinnati to fill a need.

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Tennessee needed some help in the outfield and they found some on Monday afternoon. Griffin Merritt, the 2022 AAC player of the year, announced his intentions to transfer to Tennessee from Cincinnati.

Merritt is a four-year starter for Cincinnati with one season of eligibility remaining. He exploded in 2022, hitting .315 and smacking 19 home runs. The 6-2, 215 pound outfielder drove in 52 runs and stole seven bases for the Bearcats last season.

At Cincinnati, Merritt played at left field, but also has seen time at third, first and right field.

Tennessee obviously is replacing plenty of talent from last year’s team that stayed atop the rankings for the majority of the season. They’ve reloaded with shortstop Maui Ahuna from Kansas and Alabama third baseman Zane Denton — and now Merritt.

Merritt perhaps takes the spot of Reggie Crawford, who committed to Tennessee as a transfer from UConn. However, after going in the first round to the Giants in the MLB Draft, Crawford will begin his pro career.

The Volunteers are going to look completely different offensively next season, but Tony Vitello and his staff have restocked pretty nicely to this point.