MLB Draft 2021: Red Sox grab Jud Fabian at No. 40 after Florida outfielder slips out of first round

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The Boston Red Sox made their second pick of Major League Baseball’s 2021 amateur draft on Monday. As with their first-round selection of Marcelo Mayer at No. 4 on Sunday night, the Red Sox went with a well-known player (or, as well known as baseball draftees can be, anyway) who had slipped down boards by taking Florida outfielder Jud Fabian with the 40th overall pick.

Coming into the draft cycle, Fabian appeared to be the best collegiate hitter in the class. Alas, he started off the season poorly by swinging and missing too often for anyone’s comfort. That caused his stock to slip, not only outside of the top 10, but beyond the first round. CBS Sports still ranked him as the 41st-best player available in the draft. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Fabian entered the season ranked as the third-best prospect in the class. He had an impressive track record against SEC competition; he was young for a college junior; and scouts foresaw him having plus power. Then Fabian, a wrong-way guy (he bats right, throws left), went … well, the wrong way. He punched out in 29.4 percent of his regular season plate appearances, including 36 percent of those he took in February and March. He made several mechanical tweaks thereafter, and he went on to strike out at a more modest clip (24.7 percent) the rest of the way.

Fabian, it should be noted, hit .249/.364/.560 with 20 home runs and six stolen bases (on eight tries) for the Gators this season. He’s likely to begin his career in center field, and it’s possible that he reaches the majors in that capacity.

As mentioned in the introduction, the Red Sox used their first pick on Mayer, who CBS Sports ranked as the top player available in this year’s class. 

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