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Texas lands Vanderbilt transfer INF Jack O’Dowd

David Pierce makes another depth addition with some long-term potential.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Mississippi State v Texas Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Longhorns baseball continues to remain active in the NCAA transfer portal, with Vanderbilt Commodores transfer infielder Jack O’Dowd announcing his commitment on Saturday.

A 6’2, 195-pounder from Nashville who hits left handed, O’Dowd was a top-100 prospect nationally by Perfect Game and the No. 21 shortstop who has experience playing every infield position but first base:

Jack O’Dowd is a 2020 SS/2B/3B with a 6-2 190 lb. frame from Nashville, TN who attends Lipscomb Academy. Long and lean projectable build, lots of room to get stronger especially in the upper half. Left handed hitter, hits from an upright and open stance with a high hand load, long power oriented swing with plenty of barrel whip, looking to pull and lift the ball, hands are loose and fast through the zone, projects big power with this approach as he continues to get stronger and mature physically. 6.83 runner, works side to side well and is light on his feet for his size, soft hands out front, profiles to second or third base in the future. Very good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt. Named to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic.

Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin had the following to say about O’Dowd:

“Jack is mature, curious and forward thinking. He applied himself immediately when he arrived on campus and was rewarded at the end of term academically. He does not operate like a first-year player…he has a plan, and he tries to execute it. He has an advanced acumen for the game, with a good approach to the offensive game. His defensive development is moving in right direction…we like where he is and where he is headed.”

O’Dowd only appeared in 10 games for the Commodores as a freshman, hitting .333 with three hits in nine at bats. All three hits were doubles as O’Dowd drove in four runs and also drew a walk.

The experience for O’Dowd playing for the national runner up should benefit him when he arrives on the Forty Acres — he’ll likely compete for playing time at third base with Kansas transfer Skyler Messinger and could also help back up shortstop Trey Faltine and second baseman Mitchell Daly. The much more experienced Messinger is almost certain to win the job at third base, but if O’Dowd plays well enough this fall, he could push for playing time if head coach David Pierce decides to use Messinger to fill the hole at designated hitter.

Even if O’Dowd isn’t a regular contributor in 2022, he has some long-term upside thanks to his high school production, positive results in a small sample size in 2021, and high-level baseball pedigree — his older brother, Chris, spent six years in the minors with four different teams, and his father, Dan, worked in the front office for three different organizations.