Not only did the rising-junior win the league championship with the Bourne Braves, but he also got plenty of valuable time playing in the outfield. After coming to Arkansas in 2021 as the No. 5 rated third-baseman in the country, Diggs is transitioning into filling a need for the Hogs in right field.
“The big thing for me was getting outfield reps,” he said of his summer experience. “I got a glimpse of some playing time out there last year (for Arkansas), which was awesome. I was really blessed to get some live-game reps. But that was huge for me this summer, because I played almost every game out there in right field. And I feel like I improved a lot out there.”
The 6-foot, 205-pound Olathe, Kan., native, was a high school All-American at St. Thomas Aquinas in Overland Park, Kan. He was rated at 9.5 on a 10-point scale, by Perfect Game, who also had him listed as the No. 141 recruit in the nation.
After limited playing time as a freshman, Diggs exploded onto the scene for the Razorbacks this past season, hitting .299 and leading the team with 63 runs batted in and 34 walks, including a team-high 34-game on-base streak. His 60 hits were second on the team, as he showed off his power with 12 home runs, including his first career grand-slam in Arkansas’ 9-3 victory over No. 1 LSU in March.
He started 57 of the Hogs’ 58 games in 2023, including 38 at designated hitter and 19 in right field. He attributed his successful year at the plate to various factors.
Arkansas batter Kendall Diggs celebrates after hitting the walk-off solo homer in extra innings to down Texas A&M 6-5 during the second round of the SEC Baseball Tournament at the Hoover Met Wednesday, May 24, 2023.
“I think it goes along with a lot of different things,” he said. “Even going back to my first summer after my freshman year, I was getting a lot of reps and just rolling with it. Then you get to that sophomore year, with a year under your belt, playing with more confidence. And then I always have a lot of good guys right by my side, especially some of the older guys. You’ve just got to keep learning, so it’s been good. It’s all about continuing to improve.”
Diggs went 2-for-4 in the Cape Cod championship game, a 5-2 win over the Orleans Firebirds on Aug. 16. He was one of three Razorbacks participating in the league this summer, along with pitchers Parker Coil and Jake Faherty.
Cape Cod is the premier collegiate summer baseball league in the nation and celebrated it’s 100 anniversary this season.
Although Diggs enjoyed his time in Massachusetts, he admitted that he was ready to get back to Fayetteville and be around his Arkansas teammates again. His excitement for the upcoming college season is evident in his smile, as he and the Razorbacks prepare to get back on the road to Omaha, once again.
“It’s looking really good, honestly,” Diggs said of 2024. “We got a lot of talented transfers and freshmen, and some really good guys back, so I’m excited for what’s instore for us.”