2023 CSE™ Transfer Portal Rankings Softball Top Dominant Players©

In the realm of collegiate softball, the recruitment and transfer of athletes play pivotal roles in shaping the competitive landscape of teams and conferences. With an increasing number of student-athletes transferring between institutions, it becomes imperative to establish an equitable ranking system that objectively assesses the impact of top transfers on the sport. By the count of CSE, 697 Division 1 softball players entered the transfer portal in hopes of finding a new home. At the writing of this article, a total of 390 players have come out of the transfer portal eager to take full advantage of the new opportunity that lies ahead of them.

CSE has aimed to identify the best players that have exited the transfer portal as well as assign a ranking to each school that landed a new player. This proprietary algorithm leverages a multifaceted approach that combines derived statistical metrics, player performance analysis, and player eligibility.

CSE defines a “dominant player” as someone who lands in the top 2% of all NCAA athletes in aFIP (pitchers) and awRAA (run creators).

  • aFIP is Adjusted Fielding Independent Pitching. This stat takes into account only what the pitcher can control (Ks, HRs, BBs, & HBPs) and doesn’t account for above or below average defensive play behind the pitcher. The adjustment made to FIP takes into consideration the average offensive rating of their opponents. Offensive rating is determined by the average number of runs scored. If a pitcher plays against teams with an above average offensive rating, their FIP would improve. 
  • awRAA is Adjusted Weighted Runs Above Average. This calculates how many runs a player has contributed to on an offense, compared to the national average of zero. The adjustment made to wRAA takes into consideration the average defensive rating of their opponents. Defensive rating is determined by the average number of runs allowed. If an athlete plays against teams with an above average defensive rating, their wRAA would improve.  

Top Dominant Pitchers

1. Jordy Bahl | Nebraska - aFIP 1.05

The Oklahoma transfer exits the Big 12 after back-to-back National Championship campaigns and a trophy case filled to the brim that includes two All-American honors, two Big-12 Pitcher of the Years, and the 2023 WCWS Most Outstanding Player. Bahl has two years of eligibility left as she heads back home to attempt to do more of the same with the Cornhuskers.

In the 2023 season, Bahl ended with a startling 1.05 FIP, 22-1 record, 192 Ks over 147.1 innings of work. 

2. Kelly Maxwell | Oklahoma - aFIP 1.76

Maxwell ended her sparkling career at Oklahoma State with invaluable experience on the biggest stage pitching in the past three WCWS. She also brought home two All-American selections and a Big-12 Co-Pitcher of the Year. She brings her talents down the highway to Norman to join an Oklahoma team fresh off their third straight national championship.

Maxwell carried an aFIP of 1.76, 16-7 record, 1.91 ERA, and 229 Ks over 142.2 innings. 

3. Alana Vawter | South Carolina - aFIP 1.98

The senior was dominant in the circle in her last season for the Cardinal, with an aFIP of 1.98, ERA of 1.81, 21-8 record over 190 innings for 3rd place Stanford. Vawter posted a 1.35 ERA in 3 appearances in the WCWS in 2023.

2nd team NFCA All-American in 2023

Ranks 4th all time in Stanford program history in wins (76) and 5th in strikeouts (519)

Top Dominant Run Creators

1. Taryn Kern (MIF) | Stanford - awRAA 57.56

Kern had a historic freshman season at Indiana setting three single-season program records in home runs (23), RBI (65) and runs scored (68). She took home the Big Ten Freshman and Player of the Year honors to go along with a First-Team CSE All-American selection and CSE Player of the Year. She will take her bat to Stanford to form an incredible duo with Freshman of the Year Nijaree Canday in hopes to expand on the Cardinal’s run in the 2023 WCWS.

Kern held a nation leading 57.56 wRAA, 23 home runs, .404 BA, and resounding .578 OB% in 2023

2. Korbe Otis (OF) | Florida - awRAA 32.62

Otis heads to Gainesville after a phenomenal offensive season at Louisville. Otis was named to the CSE All-American Second-Team, while leading the Cardinals (36-20) to a NCAA Regional appearance.

Otis had a .414 BA, .502 OB%, 32.62 wRAA, and hit 10 HR, while earning All-ACC First Team, CSE Second Team All-America nods.

3. Autumn Owen (C) | North Carolina - awRAA 40.14

The Marshall transfer finds her new home in Chapel Hill after a stand-out season for the Herd. Owen led the Thundering Herd to a school record 43 regular season wins and a Sun Belt Conference Championship appearance.

Owen ended with a 40.14 wRAA, .444 BA, hitting 19 HR, and earned the 2023 Sun Belt Triple Crown. Owen also set a single season Marshall program record in RBI (71) and was named a CSE First Team All-American catcher.

Check back tomorrow (September 8th) for 4th-20th Ranked CSE Transfer Portal Impact Players.

CSE classifies college athletes in four categories based on their statistical performance on the field. Dominant Players are those who have an elite impact on the game and can sway the course of a season. An Impact Player is someone who influences the outcome of the game due to their exceptional skills, performance and contributions. A Starter is an everyday player that will have a marginal impact on the season. Roster Players are those who fill the rest of the team and have a small role with minimal production.

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