Orioles select Jackson Holliday with first pick in 2022 draft

The Orioles selected the high school shortstop jackson vacation with the first overall selection of the 2022 amateur draft. The holidays join Adley Rutschman (2019) and Ben McDonald (1989) as players selected by the Orioles with the 1-1 pick, and he is the first high schooler to be first overall since the Twins draft. Royce Lewis in 2017.

Talent runs in the family, as Jackson is the son of the longtime Cardinals and Rockies star Matt Holiday. Continuing the theme of family ties, young Holliday becomes only the second son of a former Major League player to be taken with the selection 1-1 – the first was Ken Griffey Jr. back in 1987.

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Time will tell if Holliday can approach Hall of Fame or All-Star level, but the 18-year-old is one of the most touted members of the 2022 draft class. Fangraphs and MLB Pipeline have each ranked Holliday as the second-best prospect in the class, with Kiley McDaniel and Baseball America each placing Holliday third in their rankings, and The Athletic’s Keith Law ranked Holliday sixth.

A left-handed hitter, Holliday has a smooth swing that generated plenty of tough contracts and an increasing amount of power as his senior year progressed. Most reviewers give him at least positive marks across the board, and as Fangraphs’ scouting report puts it, Holliday “literally checks every box, and there aren’t many left-handed shortstops with this kind of juice. He projects himself as an All-Star shortstop. Although he’s not a defender per se, Holliday’s instinct and throwing arm should allow him to stay at shortstop, even if it looks like he has the athleticism to be tested at other positions if the Orioles wanted to experiment.

With Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Westburg also in Baltimore’s system as top shortstop prospects, the O’s have amassed enviable depth at a key position at the diamond. The Orioles’ lengthy rebuild has brought a number of some of the best youngsters into the farm system, and perhaps the first impact begins to be felt on the field in 2022, given the team’s surprising presence in the wild card race at the All-Star break.

Since Mike Elias took over the front office for the Orioles, the club has traditionally drafted college players early – Grayson Rodriguez (2018) is the only other prep first round selected during Elias’ tenure. Signability was also a factor for the O’s, which often brought players slightly lower on the projection boards, in an effort to attract players who would sign for sub-slot deals.

That way Baltimore has more bonus pool space to spend on other quality picks later in the draft, and maybe have the flexibility to go beyond the spot to land premium talent. at lower draft positions. The Orioles have a bonus pool of $16,924,000, and the first overall pick has an awarded slot value of $8,842,200.

Photo courtesy of Sports Pictures USA Today

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