Arkansas baseball signee headed to Wichita State
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A member of the Razorbacks' touted 2020 baseball signing class has found a new home.
Hunter Cramer, a middle infielder from Texas, will not enroll at Arkansas and has instead signed with Wichita State, a spokesperson for the Shockers confirmed to HawgBeat on Wednesday.
At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, Cramer was ranked as the 71st overall player - and No. 13 shortstop - in the Lone Star State coming out of Oak Ridge High in Conroe, Texas.
He committed to the Razorbacks in October of 2017, when he was a sophomore. Since then, Cramer has been named to the all-tournament teams at the 2018 WWBA 16U National Championship and 2019 WWBA 17U West National Championship, while also being invited to the Perfect Game National Showcase last year.
Cramer is the first known member of Arkansas' 2020 signing class - which is ranked third nationally by Perfect Game - to get let out of his national letter of intent and sign elsewhere.
A common occurrence in college baseball in normal years, it is expected to happen more frequently this offseason because of the roster crunch created by the MLB's shortened draft and NCAA's eligibility relief in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Razorbacks will have more players than they expected for the 2021 season, which means the 11.7 scholarships allowed by the NCAA will be stretched thinner than ever before.
Movement by college baseball signees happens every summer and then again after the fall semester. Just last year, Arkansas saw touted freshmen Jason Hodges and Nate Stevens head to junior colleges after going through fall practices and realizing they wouldn't get the playing time they were hoping. That is expected to happen even more this year.
Although the Razorbacks lost starting shortstop Casey Martin to the MLB Draft, they return freshman phenom Robert Moore, who could slide over to shortstop from second base. Jacob Nesbit is a two-year starter at third, but has gotten a lot of action at second base in practice and could move there if incoming top-25 recruit Cayden Wallace takes over the hot corner.
Arkansas is also adding Cullen Smith - who's eligible after transferring in from East Tennessee State and sitting out last season - to the mix, as well as bringing in JUCO transfers Brady Slavens and Jalen Battles and high school signees Michael Brooks, Jackson Cobb and Ethan Bates. All six of those players can be middle infielders.
With so much competition for just two spots and the aforementioned roster crunch, Cramer's decision to find a new school makes sense. He likely won't be the only player to make that move before the 2021 season, either.