2021 MLB Draft: Young selected No. 203 by Nationals

Left fielder Jacob Young became the second UF outfielder to be drafted this year. The Washington Nationals selected him with the 203rd overall pick in the seventh round.

The Ponta Vedra, Florida, native has been an on-base machine from the moment he stepped foot on campus in the fall of 2018. He owns a career batting average of .330 and an on-base percentage of .400.

He played in 54 games and started 48 as a freshman in 2018, mostly at second base. He finished third on the team with a .311 batting average and tied for the team lead with seven stolen bases.

He started 15 games in right field in 2020 and batted a team-high .450 with nine RBI and 12 runs scored. He put together a streak of seven consecutive multi-hit games, which tied the longest such streak by a Gator since 2009. He was named a Second Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball.

He moved to left field and assumed the role of leadoff hitter in 2021. He started all 60 games and led the team in hits (80), doubles (16), runs (56) and stolen bases (13). He finished second on the team with a .315 batting average.

Young found his power stroke toward the end of the season, smashing two home runs in the SEC Tournament. He was named to the SEC All-Tournament Team for his performance.

He’s also an elite defender, as his seven outfield assists in 2021 were the second most in the conference. He committed just two errors all season.

With an infield single in the eighth inning against Florida A&M on March 7, he broke Tim Olson’s school record with a 30-game hitting streak that spanned parts of three different seasons.

Because Young doesn’t play a premium defensive position and doesn’t hit a bunch of home runs, there was some speculation that he would go later in the draft and possibly return to UF for another year.

The Nationals, however, had something else in mind.

Ethan was born in Gainesville and has lived in the Starke, Florida, area his entire life. He played basketball for five years and knew he wanted to be a sportswriter when he was in middle school. He’s attended countless Gators athletic events since his early childhood, with baseball being his favorite sport to attend. He’s a proud 2019 graduate of the University of Florida and a 2017 graduate of Santa Fe College. He interned with the University Athletic Association’s communications department for 1 ½ years as a student and has spent the last two football seasons writing for InsideTheGators.com. He is a long-suffering fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Rays. You can follow him on Twitter @ehughes97.