Fields thrives at 'first love'

Photo: Brandon Fields (Perfect Game)

Cory Van Dyke
Published: Friday, July 19, 2019

HOOVER, Ala. -- What would a typical teenager be doing on a lazy afternoon in the summer? He would probably be playing video games, particularly Fortnite, the battle royale multiplayer game.

In fact, that’s exactly what Brandon Fields was doing when he received the phone call that would mark one of the biggest accolades of his baseball career. Fields was contacted by Perfect Game to let him know that he would be one of 55 players selected for the 2019 All-American Classic, proving that perhaps he’s not really a typical teenager.

“I was in awe,” Fields said before taking the field at the 2019 WWBA 17u Elite Championship. “It means everything. All those late nights I’ve been working with my dad and just putting in work from the time I was a little boy and watching the game on TV, it means a lot.”

Fields has been dedicated to improving his game since a young age alongside his father, Frank, who played baseball at Central State University. His mother, Tasha, has always been right there in the background, supporting Brandon through each and every moment.

“It’s really a culmination of all his hard work,” Tasha said. “He’s been playing since five, so to just see it all come to fruition with being rewarded with [the All-American Classic] is outstanding.”

With the fatherly wisdom from Frank, Fields has combined that with his natural talent on the field to become the No. 36 overall player in the 2020 class. 

Using a 6-foot, 200-pound frame, Fields swing plays to all fields, and he’s a menace on the bases with a 6.50 60-yard dash. Equipped with range and present arm strength in the outfield, the Orlando native says he tries to model his game after Andrew McCuthen because he’s a “five tool player and he always seems to love playing the game and always having a smile on his face.”

That infectious smile and the love for the game that Fields possesses wipes off on his teammates around him. It brings an energy to the dugout, and with it, the Giants Scout Team - FTB have jumped out to a 2-0 start at the 2019 WWBA 17u Elite Championship.

“All the kids on the field love him,” FTB coach Nelson Gonzalez said. “He’s just a great player overall. He’s a guy who likes to have fun… He’s just a cool cat to hang out with.”

It’s that same message that Fields’ parents have harped on throughout the entire process.

“My husband and I, the main thing we try to tell him to focus on is to just have fun,” Tasha said. “It can be stressful because you’re going out and giving your all. At the same time, this is something he’s really passionate about. You don’t want to lose that aspect of the fun part of the game. 

“That’s really what my husband and I, we’re here to let him vent when he needs to and celebrate the highs and the lows. Just take it all in stride, but it’s been fun.”

So what sets Fields a part even more from the other All-Americans? Baseball isn’t the only sport where he’s turning heads.

Fields is also the starting running back at Dr. Phillips High School, where he’s a three-star recruit who’s been ranked as the No. 88 running back in his class by 247Sports. It created a unique recruiting process as a two-sport athlete, but he eventually reached a commitment with Will Muschamp and Mark Kingston at South Carolina to be featured on both teams.

“It was definitely different having a coach be very flexible on both sides of the ball, football and baseball,” Fields said. “Finding the right one was key for me. Knowing that I found the right school means a lot.”

Being a beast on the gridiron and in the outfield brings out a competitive spirit in Fields that is often unmatched by those around him. That intensity drives him in both sports, even if that connection with America’s pastime is still stronger.

“Baseball has always been my first love,” Fields said. “I just played football for fun. I played up when I was 13 with 16 and 17 year olds when I was playing with [Chet Lemon’s Juice]. When I was playing up and knowing I could compete with them really opened up my eyes to baseball.”

Only time will tell to see how Fields attacks his days in Columbia as a two-sport athlete. And that’s if the 2020 MLB Draft doesn’t come calling. Either way, Fields knows his next stop will be Petco Park where he’ll continue to make his family proud.

“It’s definitely on the back of your mind, but I try to stay humble and keep everything even keeled and let everything happen by itself knowing that if I put in work, good things can happen,” Fields said. “I think my ‘why’ towards the game is that it runs in my family and knowing what my family expects out of me.”

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