Latest Mock Drafts Send a Couple Familiar Outfielders to the Cubs

It feels very weird that we’re in the final week of June and the MLB Draft is still almost three weeks away. You’ll recall that MLB moved its draft from the usual early-June slot to mid-July so that it could be part of the All-Star weekend festivities. I definitely get it from a “centralizing attention” standpoint, and indeed the draft will probably get more eyeballs and airwaves than usual. It’s just that feels so long to wait!

Anyway, in the meantime, prep and college seasons have wrapped, save for the College World Series, which has only a week left. So certainly that’s a helpful element in having the draft later. Everything will be in the books long before the draft begins.

And as we await the start of the draft on July 11, two new Mock Drafts have dropped, each of which are worth perusing as we become increasingly familiar with the prospects who could be there for the Cubs around pick 21.

First, from MLB Pipeline, we see a familiar name mocked to the Cubs in Florida outfielder Jud Fabian. But the caution is that the Cubs are incredible hard to read right now:

21. Cubs: Jud Fabian, OF, Florida
The Cubs are mulling all four demographics: college position players (Fabian) and pitchers (McGreevy) along with high school bats (Taylor, Colson Montgomery) and arms (Solometo, Painter, Petty).

Fabian, ranked 22 in MLB Pipeline’s latest draft rankings, has flown all over the place in evaluations this year. The 20-year-old junior center fielder has seen his power explode this year (20 homers in just 59 games), but there have been concerns about his contact ability against better pitching (though it’s improved as the SEC season has gone on). At pick 21, you’re not going to get a risk-free guy, so landing one of the better college bats – a young one, at that – with a chance to stick in center field?

As you can see, though, a whole lotta names have been attached to the Cubs, so it’s hard to get set on Fabian being a sure-fire target. His is definitely the college-bat-name you hear, though, in this range of the draft.

Second, from Keith Law, we see him once again attaching high school outfielder Will Taylor to the Cubs (you may remember that it was a specific rumor that pegged Taylor to the Cubs in Law’s last mock). This time, from Law:

21. Chicago Cubs: Will Taylor, OF, Dutch Fork (SC)
Nothing new here — which includes nothing new from Taylor, who still hasn’t indicated to scouts whether he plans to play baseball or play football for Dabo Swinney at Clemson. If he’s willing to sign, he could go higher than this, maybe to St. Louis or Philly.

Your first clue on Taylor’s plans could come tomorrow, when he would be due to report to Clemson’s summer camp as a wide receivers. If he doesn’t report, then you know he’s fully committed to baseball, in which case he might go much higher than pick 21 based on projected baseball talent. If he does report, then you know he’s holding onto a little extra leverage, which might make him tougher/pricier to sign, but he would be more likely to be there at 21 for the Cubs. (I won’t pretend to be a football scout, but as a 6’0″, 175 lbs high school quarterback becoming a wide receiver at Clemson … I mean, hey, if you love football, go do your thing … but otherwise, go play baseball and get paid, young man.)

More on Taylor here when MLB Pipeline also previously mocked him to the Cubs.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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