Jud Fabian- OF Florida, #17 On MLB Pipeline
Florida’s Jud Fabian was seen as a potential top 5 pick heading into the 2021 season due to a fantastic COVID shortened year where he put up an outstanding 1.010 OPS, while hitting five home runs in 17 games for the Gators.
Fabian came into the 2021 season hoping to build off the momentum he had gained in the prior year, and firmly establish himself as one of the elite prospects in this year’s draft. Unfortunately, this did not materialize and the Florida native has fallen down draft boards and is seen as a fringe first round talent now due to a rise in swing and miss, and a drop in contact.
Fabian has always had plenty of swing and miss in his game, striking out in 21% of his at bats during his first two seasons in Gainesville. The Florida native would see his strikeout percentage jump to a clip of 28% this season, while also seeing his average fall to a career low of .267, after hitting .294 in his sophomore season.
Even though Fabian has struggled to make consistent contact, and has a serious swing and miss problem, the power is definitely there and is why teams still view him as a first-round talent. Fabian is currently leading all of college baseball with 20 long balls this year in just 50 games, which would put him on pace to hit 64 home runs in a 162 game season. The power hitting outfielder has also posted a career high 1.016 OPS despite seeing a drop in his batting average, which shows how unreal of a year he’s having from a power perspective.
Fabian has hit 32 career home runs in just 123 college games and will definitely be a long ball threat at the next level if he can simplify his swing and start making more consistent contact.
Along with the raw power he possesses, Fabian is also seen as a plus runner, receiving a 55 grade on MLB Pipeline, which could help him stick in centre field once he turns pro, though most scouts see him patrolling one of the corner outfield spots and becoming an above average defender there.
Jud Fabian is definitely a high risk, high reward prospect. I wouldn’t necessarily love the selection if the Jays decide to go this route, but if they feel that they can work on Fabian’s swing and miss issues, and the price is right from a signing bonus perspective, then I think he could be an intriguing pick and would immediately become one of the higher upside prospects in the Jays’ farm system.