The Baltimore Orioles selected Oklahoma prep shortstop Jackson Holliday with the No. 1 pick in Major League Baseball’s 2022 amateur draft on Sunday night. Holliday joins Adley Rutschman (2019) and Ben McDonald (1989) as past No. 1 picks in franchise history.
Holliday, whose father Matt was a longtime big-league outfielder and seven-time All-Star, was ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the class in June by CBS Sports. Here’s what we wrote at the time:
Holliday is another top prospect with big-league bloodlines working in his favor. His father Matt made seven All-Star Games over a 15-year career, and his uncle Josh is the head coach at Oklahoma State (where he’s committed to play in the unlikely event he attends college). Holliday hasn’t coasted on his name or his connections; he spent the past year getting himself into better shape, and improving his offensive game. He’s no longer pulling off pitches as frequently as he had in the past, and he’s more open to using the whole field. His explosiveness allows him to smoke almost anything thrown over the plate, and he can run and throw well, too.
Holliday comes from Stillwater High School, which has produced a number of big-league players over the years, including his father Matt and pitcher Brett Anderson.
The Orioles have made a habit out of embracing the “portfolio approach,” or taking the player with the lowest signing bonus demands out of their group of top players, though it’s unclear if that’s the direction they went with the Holliday pick. The savings are then redistributed elsewhere in their draft class, as CBS Sports explained in May:
For an example of this practice at work, consider the 2012 draft. That’s when the Astros took Carlos Correa over Byron Buxton with the No. 1 pick. Correa signed for $1.2 million less than Buxton did, allowing the Astros to funnel the difference into subsequent picks, including right-hander Lance McCullers Jr., third baseman Rio Ruiz, and outfielder Brett Phillips. Correa and McCullers became core pieces for the Astros, while Ruiz and Phillips served the organization as outgoing parts of trades.
The Orioles will have three more picks on Sunday night.