Orioles Select High Schooler Jackson Holliday With First Overall Pick in MLB Draft

The Baltimore Orioles selected high school shortstop Jackson Holliday with the first overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft on Sunday.

Holliday, the son of former MLB star Matt Holliday, hit .685 with 17 home runs, 79 RBIs, and a 1.392 OPS in 41 games at Stillwater High School in Oklahoma his senior year. He also set the all-time national high school record for hits with 89, breaking Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto’s record.

Holliday’s eye-popping numbers earned him Baseball America’s National High School Player of the Year award.

Like Father, Like Son

The top two picks in this year’s draft were used on the sons of former major league stars.

Holliday’s dad Matt, a former NLCS MVP, seven-time all-star, and World Series champion, is just four years removed from MLB after splitting most of his career with the Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals.

With the second overall pick, the Arizona Diamondbacks took Druw Jones, son of former five-time all-star and ten-time Gold Glove winner Andruw Jones.

The Orioles are counting on the apple not falling far from the tree, and if so, the future is starting to look bright for the Birds. Holliday’s father’s shoes are big ones to fill, however.

His old man (still only 42) finished his 15-year career with a .299 average, 316 home runs, and an OPS of .889.

While Jackson is still just 18 years old, the raw talent is clearly there, and his high school numbers suggest he is well on his way to stardom.

According to MLB.com prospect rankings:

“Holliday has gotten faster as he has gotten stronger, and he now flashes plus-plus run times as a senior and is a consistent plus runner. He’s throwing better too, and his solid plus arm strength and enhanced quickness give him a better opportunity to remain at shortstop. His high baseball IQ also helps his chances after many evaluators previously believed he was destined for second or third base.”

Holliday is committed to Oklahoma State but will likely never play a game for the Cowboys once the Orioles ink him to a deal. The slot value for a first overall pick is just shy of $9 million.


Orioles Rebuild Ahead of Schedule

Thanks to a 52-110 record last year, this year’s selection was the O’s second No. 1 overall pick in four years. Baltimore took catcher Adley Rutschman in 2019, and the top prospect was called up to the Bigs earlier this year.

The cupboards are filling up on the farm, as the Orioles have now had a top-five pick in four straight years. Baltimore’s farm system is ranked number one by FanGraphs and includes two top-five prospects in pitcher Grayson Rodriguez and infielder Gunnar Henderson.

The parade of top-tier picks will likely end after this season, as the Orioles have surprised the baseball world with a 46-46 record at the All-Star break.

With a .500 record at the break and a recent No.1 overall pick under their belt, it’s the most optimistic outlook the Birds have had in a while. As reported by the Baltimore Sun, the excitement wasn’t lost on Orioles’ executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias.

“I think this Orioles organization is in the healthiest spot it’s been in in a very long time,” Elias said. “And it just got a lot healthier 20 minutes ago.”

Orioles fans can back their team by placing their MLB bets at five Maryland casinos while the state waits for mobile betting apps to launch.

About the Author

Ryan Hagen

Ryan Hagen is a freelance writer for Maryland Sharp. He’s spent most of his career writing in roles that have ranged from copywriter at a boutique ad agency to corporate communications at a large oil firm. His true passion is sports, and he’s now been writing in the sports gaming industry for the last couple of years. He enjoys sports betting and usually bets a little too much when he loses and not quite enough when he wins.