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JUCO OF Brandon Fields commits to Texas

Ranked as the No. 31 prospect in the 2020 class by Perfect Game, Fields left South Carolina after one season and bounced back with a strong year in junior college.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns bolstered outfield depth on Thursday evening with a commitment from State College of Florida rising junior outfielder Brandon Fields.

A 6’0, 209-pounder, Fields isn’t a typical junior college baseball prospect — he was ranked as the No. 31 recruit nationally and the No. 9 outfielder by Perfect Game in the 2020 recruiting class and signed with South Carolina. Fields was talented enough to withdraw from the 2020 MLB Draft in favor of playing for the Gamecocks, but his freshman season surely didn’t go as planned in Columbia when he only started one game and received six at bats, failing to notch a hit.

Fields opted to play at the junior college level after entering the NCAA transfer portal and slashed .324/.387/.581 with 13 doubles, seven triples, nine home runs, and 48 RBI, as well as 16 stolen bases. So the tools clearly showed for Fields — he was known for having a short, powerful swing in high school and the speed to play center field — but he did have a strikeout rate of 30 percent, a lot of swing and miss in his game for the level of competition.

Even with the strikeout issues, though, Fields still has plenty of upside and will compete for a starting spot in the Texas outfield, likely in center field. With Eric Kennedy returning along with Dylan Campbell, two spots should be locked in for the Longhorns unless Campbell returns to second base, leaving Fields to battle rising sophomore Ace Whitehead and freshman Max Belyeu for the third outfield spot. Fields is also a strong contender to earn some at bats at designated hitter for Texas in 2023.