Here’s why the Gators were iced out of The Athletic’s latest MLB mock draft

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The 2021 MLB draft has been pushed back from its normal early June date to mid-July, giving the opinions of both the league and draft-adjacent media plenty of time to simmer. For players on the edge of first-round consideration, that means seeing their name bobbed endlessly in and out of mock drafts leading up to the event.

Florida stars Tommy Mace and Jud Fabian are in exactly that situation. Both are talented enough to have secured likely positions in the top 30 with better performances during the college 2021 season. However, the Gators’ infuriating inconsistency stemmed largely from that of their cornerstone players, a demographic that squarely includes both Fabian and Mace.

Both were excluded from the most recent mock draft produced by The Athletic.

Between the two, Fabian is the more likely to creep his way back into the top group. He’s a good athlete, and as a center fielder with a power stroke, he presents an interesting package of tools. Unfortunately, there’s almost no track record for players who strike out as much as he did in college having success in pro ball.

It’s such an alarming red flag that it will literally cost him millions of dollars – he was projected as a top-five pick entering the season, but there’s virtually no chance of that happening now. However, he’s too good at too many other things that some team will scoop him up before he falls too far.

Mace has the potential for a much further slide. The appeal for a player like Mace is his quick path to the MLB as an accomplished and straightforward pitcher. With the effectiveness of his fastball and quality of his breaking balls in question, though, teams could get very skittish.

The more likely route for the Gators to be part of the Day 1 discussion is for one of their recruits to find a home in the first round. The Athletic projects two players committed to play in Gainesville to be drafted – outfielder Jay Allen and pitcher Andrew Painter.

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