BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox continue to add to the franchise’s pool of prospects at the MLB Draft, taking an exciting young outfielder to start off Monday’s selections. Boston drafted talented Florida outfielder Jud Fabian with the 40th overall selection, the team’s first pick of Day 2 of the 2021 MLB Draft.
Fabian is a right-handed hitter who slashed .249/.364/.560 with 20 homers, 10 doubles and 51 runs scored over 59 games for the Gators last season. He earned All-SEC honors, and was on the All-SEC defensive team for his play in the Florida outfield. Over his three-year career at Florida, Fabian slashed .249/.366/.512 with 32 home runs, 25 doubles, 85 RBIs and 102 runs over 132 games.
Two of those homers came off No. 2 overall pick Jack Leiter earlier this year.
Jud Fabian to the Red Sox in the 2nd round.
Big upside. Homered twice off Jack Leiter in a span of two ABs earlier this year.pic.twitter.com/Sr4gjKwoac
— Mike Monaco (@MikeMonaco_) July 12, 2021
Fabian also played in the Cape Cod Baseball League, hitting .290 with six homers, 16 RBIs and 23 runs scored in 35 games for Bourne in 2019.
The big concern with Fabian is his swing-and-miss numbers, as the 20-year-old struck out 79 times in 269 plate appearances last season at Florida. But Red Sox fans will love the scouting report on Fabian by MLB.com, which compared the young outfielder to Mookie Betts:
The left-handed-throwing, right-handed-hitting Fabian has solid tools across the board. There’s been some swing-and-miss in his game in the past, but he started having better at-bats more consistently last year and over the summer with bat speed that reminded some of Mookie Betts, his strikeout rate spiked early in 2021. The power was still showing up, but he struggled with adjusting to breaking stuff.
While Fabian isn’t a burner, he does have above-average speed. That, combined with his ability to get good reads off the bat and run good routes, should allow him to stay in center field long-term. Fabian still has the chance to be an up-the-middle impact bat, but a team taking him in the top couple of rounds will have to believe he’ll make enough contact at the next level to get to that power.
The Red Sox started their 2021 draft by taking high school shortstop Marcelo Mayer with the fourth overall pick on Sunday night. The team took NC State second baseman Tyler McDonough with its third-round (No. 75 overall) pick on Monday.