This week on Meet the Baby Birds we meet Jud Fabian. The Orioles #15 prospect has been a big time power bat in the minors for the Aberdeen IronBirds and the Bowie Baysox. Fabian is another reason the Baltimore Orioles continue to have the best farm system in baseball.
Meet the Baby Birds: Outfield prospect Jud Fabian
Jud Fabian was a star high school baseball player at Trinity Catholic High School in Ocala, FL. He was also a very bright student and was able to complete high school in just three years. After batting .453 with 11 home runs as a junior and completing his high school requirements, Fabian attended the University of Florida for college.
As a Gator, Fabian appeared to be a true three outcome players. In his four years at UF, he slashed .246/.384/.541 with 56 home runs and a 143/211 BB/K ratio in 198 games. When Fabian does make contact, he makes it count. Jud also had 35 doubles, one triple and 140 RBI's in college. He was playing so well that the Boston Red Sox drafted him 40th overall in 2021, but after not being able to agree on a contract, Jud returned to Florida for his senior year. Fabian again entered the draft in 2022 and was selected 67th by the Orioles.
Fabian is about average size for an outfielder at 6'1 and 195 pounds. His best quality as a player is his power getting a grade 60 on his scouting report, but he also has plus speed. Fabian uses that speed to patrol the outfield, primarily as a center fielder, but he has gotten plenty of experience in the corner outfield positions as well.
While Jud is most talked about for his bat, his defense is just as much of a reason, if not more that he was promoted to double-A Bowie this season. In Fabian's two professional seasons he has fielded 179 batted balls, and made one error. That's a .994 fielding percentage and he has eight career outfield assists.
Jud clearly spent a lot of time working with the coaches in Aberdeen on stealing bases. Having only one stolen base in 2022, Fabian surprised many when he recorded 19 stolen bases in 56 games with Aberdeen, and has added five more thefts in 24 games in Bowie. Fabian's speed has become a weapon that many people are being forced to take notice of. His power bat, coupled with he speed and strong defense are reminiscent of current Orioles outfielder, Austin Hays.
Like many players, Fabian has needed some time to adapt to higher levels of baseball. After dominating rookie ball and low-A in 2022, Fabian struggled in Aberdeen to finish the season. Fabian worked hard to adapt and it showed this season as he mashed low-A pitching.
Jud was promoted to Bowie on June 20 and has again gotten off to a slow start offensively in the elevated level, but he continues to work hard and may have turned a corner. Fabian has recorded a hit in three straight games with Bowie and four of his last five, including two home runs in that time.
If Fabian continues to improve at this rate, his name should start to pop up on the major league radar in the second half of next season. He will more than likely finish this season with Bowie and probably start next season there too, but if he keeps working and adapting to pitching the way he has, there's no doubt that he will quickly advance up the prospect list. He is an exciting player to watch in the field, at the plate and on the base paths. I'm excited to watch him progress through the system.