Florida baseball won’t lose its star center fielder to the MLB quite yet.
Jud Fabian announced via Twitter Saturday he will return for another season in Florida Ballpark. The Boston Red Sox drafted the Ocala, Florida, native 40th overall in the 2021 MLB Draft July 12, but the rising junior outfielder retained two years of eligibility and decided he wouldn’t leave for the professional ranks.
One of two unanimous preseason All-Americans for Baseball America and the site’s No. 5 prospect in the Preseason 150, Fabian started 59 games in center field for the Gators. He crushed 20 home runs, second-most in the SEC and ninth-most in the country.
Fabian’s batting average and on-base percentage slipped from .294 and .407 in 2020 down to .249 and .364, however. He struck out a team-high 79 times, 25 more than his next closest teammate. He failed to record a hit in 21 of his 59 games.
The Florida baseball team will become a family affair for Fabian with younger brother Deric set to join the program for 2022. At only 20 years old, UF’s preseason darling decided he’d give the Gators another year.
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Ryan Haley is a second-year journalism major with a sports & media specialization from Jacksonville, Florida. He grew up playing a bunch of different sports before settling on golf, following Rory McIlroy and all Philadelphia sports teams. He also loves all things fiction, reading, watching shows and movies and talking about whatever current story or character is in his head.