After the Red Sox selected Marcelo Mayer with their first selection in this year’s draft up at number four, they’ve followed it up with another highly-rated player, albeit one whose stock has fallen since the start of the college season. With their second round pick, Boston took Jud Fabian, an outfielder from the University of Florida.
Back at the start of draft season in February, when the college season was getting ready to begin, Fabian was seen as a potential Red Sox pick at number four overall. He didn’t do enough to alleviate some concerns we’ll get to in a second and watched his stock fall, but the Red Sox were still able to grab him. Fabian was ranked 27th in the class by Baseball America, 23rd by MLB Pipeline, 24th by FanGraphs, and 32nd by Perfect Game.
In Fabian, the Red Sox are getting a center fielder who should be able to stick up the middle and play above-average defense out there as well. In addition to the defense, Fabian also possesses big-time raw power, rated as a 60 on the 20-80 scale by MLB Pipeline. Power and defense up the middle is a tough combination to beat, but the concerns alluded to above revolve around the hit tool. There is a lot of swing-and-miss in his game, and a lack of contact makes it very hard to tap into the power on a regular basis.
That said, the Red Sox have a good track record with developing hitters, and have focused on power hitters with hit tool questions of late. This a high-upside pick — and it should also be mentioned that Fabian is one of the youngest college players in the class, not turning 21 until the end of September — giving the Red Sox a very, very strong start to this draft, at least on paper.