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What Michael Braswell’s Departure Means For South Carolina

With the South Carolina Gamecocks moving on from the rollercoaster that was the 2023 season, multiple players now have important decisions to make regarding whether or not they want to test their abilities at the professional ranks or if they believe they’ll receive more playing time at another school. One player in this aforementioned group took only a short time to make his intentions known, as infielder Michael Braswell announced on Sunday evening that he was entering the transfer portal.

This move came as a bit of a surprise from the outside looking in, as Braswell had become an important piece down the stretch in 2023 and had multiple clutch hits in different games, his most notable one coming in game one of the series against the Georgia Bulldogs back in mid-March. The aspect of Michael’s game that’ll be missed the most will be his silky-smooth fielding ability, which when paired with his great decision-making lead to multiple highlight reel plays on defense.

So where do the Gamecocks go from here? Well, if there’s one area of their roster where the Gamecocks can afford to absorb a blow personnel-wise, it would be the infield. First team All-SEC catcher Cole Messina, and veteran third baseman Talmadge LeCroy are both expected to be back next Spring, while shortstop Braylen Wimmer and first baseman Gavin Casas both have decisions to make regarding whether or not they’ll move onto the professional ranks.

Rising sophomore Will Tippett also now has a year of college experience, including a plethora of starts, under his belt, and displayed considerable improvement at the plate at the end of the season. Tippett’s overall athleticism, fielding ability and positional versatility make him a likely candidate to potentially start in the infield at the beginning of next season.

Mark Kingston and his staff are also bringing in a coupe of elite infield prospects for the 2023 recruiting class in Lee Ellis and Tyler Zedalis, both of whom are projected to be potentially elite players at the collegiate level according to PerfectGame. All in all, South Carolina has plenty of options in their middle infield despite the loss of Braswell, and will likely turn out okay in that position come next February.

Source: FI