A few thoughts to jump start your Tuesday morning:
MLB.COM HAS FABIAN GOING NO. 22 TO THE CHICAGO WHITE SOX Although CBSSports.com has dropped Florida center fielder all the way down to the No. 41 prospect for the July 11-13 Major League Baseball Draft, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com isn’t wavering. He’s got Fabian going No. 22 to the Chicago White Sox, noting “Fabian’s tools are undeniable, though the swing-and-miss concerns some.”
R.J. Anderson of CBSSports.com isn’t so optimistic. He writes, “Teams won’t be running pell-mell in Fabian’s direction, but a club who believes his hit took can approach fringe-average could pop him before the end of the first round.”
Mayo has the Gators losing signee Andrew Painter (6-7, 230, Fort Lauderdale, FL Calvary Christian) going No. 13 to the Philadelphia Phillies, noting the Phillies “like Painter’s size, how his arm works and his feel for pitching.” CBSSports.com ranks Painter the No. 22 prospect in the draft.
CBSSports.com ranks Florida signee Chase Petty (6-1, 185, Somers Point NJ Mainland Regional) as the No. 37 prospect. Anderson writes, “He has big time arm strength, of course, with which he’s broken the 100-mph mark in the past. His slider has also shown promise as a putaway pitch.”
Assessing the Gators in the draft: I’m of the opinion that Fabian will go in the first round, probably somewhere between 20-25. His strikeouts are a concern, but he’s one of the younger draft-eligible players since he skipped his senior season at Trinity Catholic to enroll early at UF so he’s got a very high upside.
Nathan Hickey still has three years of eligibility (2020 didn’t count per the NCAA) so he has options if he doesn’t get a contract to his liking. He’s a consistent hitter who probably goes in the first three rounds.
Tommy Mace is a late first rounder in some mock drafts. MLB.com had him ranked as the No. 31 prospect just a month or so ago. He’s probably going mid-second. When Jack Leftwich was switched to the bullpen, he improved his draft stock considerably. He could be picked as a closer or long reliever since he has plenty of starting experience. MLB.com ranked him as the No. 136 prospect.
Other Gators who could be drafted are pitcher Franco Aleman, left fielder Jacob Young and first baseman Kris Armstrong. Young needs to go if he’s drafted. Aleman needs another year in the worst way and Armstrong needs another year to get hold of his power consiste