The Orioles chosen highschool shortstop Jackson Holliday with the primary general choice of the 2022 beginner draft. Holliday joins Adley Rutschman (2019) and Ben McDonald (1989) as gamers taken by the Orioles with the 1-1 decide, and he’s the primary excessive schooler taken first general because the Twins drafted Royce Lewis in 2017.
Expertise runs within the household, as Jackson is the son of longtime Cardinals and Rockies star Matt Holliday. Persevering with the theme of household ties, the youthful Holliday turns into solely the second son of a former Main League participant to be taken with the 1-1 choice — the primary was Ken Griffey Jr. again in 1987.
Time will inform if Holliday can method a Corridor-of-Fame or All-Star degree, however the 18-year-old is among the extra highly-touted members of the 2022 draft class. Fangraphs and MLB Pipeline every ranked Holliday because the second-best prospect of the category, with Kiley McDaniel and Baseball America every slotting Holliday third on their rankings, and The Athletic’s Keith Legislation rated Holliday sixth.
A left-handed hitter, Holliday has a easy swing that generated a whole lot of exhausting contract and an growing quantity of energy as his senior 12 months progressed. Most evaluators give him not less than plus grades throughout the board, and as Fangraphs’ scouting report places it, Holliday “checks actually each field, and there aren’t many lefty-hitting shortstops with this type of juice. He initiatives as an All-Star shortstop.” Whereas not a defensive standout per se, Holliday’s instincts and throwing arm ought to enable him to stay at shortstop, although he would appear to have the athleticism to be examined at different positions if the Orioles wished to experiment.
With Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Westburg additionally in Baltimore’s system as blue-chip shortstop prospects, the O’s have constructed up some enviable depth at a key place on the diamond. The Orioles’ prolonged rebuild has introduced fairly just a few prime children into the farm system, and maybe the earliest affect is beginning to be seen on the sector in 2022, given the workforce’s shocking presence within the wild card race on the All-Star break.
Since Mike Elias took over the Orioles’ entrance workplace, the membership has historically drafted faculty gamers early — Grayson Rodriguez (2018) is the one different prep first-rounder chosen throughout Elias’ tenure. Signability has additionally been an element for the O’s, who’ve usually taken gamers barely decrease on projection boards, in an try to land gamers who would signal for under-slot offers.
That manner, Baltimore has extra bonus-pool house to spend on different high quality picks later within the draft, and maybe have flexibility to go over-slot to land premium expertise at decrease draft positions. The Orioles have a $16,924,000 bonus pool, and the primary general decide has an assigned slot worth of $8,842,200.
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