MLB Orioles select Jackson Holliday No. 1 overall in MLB draft

Stillwater High School shortstop Jackson Holliday was selected first overall in the MLB draft by the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

The Baseball America 2022 High School Player of the Year is the son of former major league outfielder Matt Holliday. He’s the second No. 1 pick ever whose father played Major League Baseball, following Ken Griffey Jr. in 1987.

“It is an absolute honor to be the No. 1 pick,” Holliday said in a TV interview with MLB Network moments after the selection was made.

Holliday, 18, hit .685 with 17 home runs and set a high school record with 89 hits in a single season. He had 30 stolen bases in 30 attempts.

The left-handed hitter is also committed to Oklahoma State, where his uncle, Josh Holliday, is the head coach.

Royce Lewis (2017, Minnesota Twins) and Carlos Correa (2012, Houston Astros) are the last two shortstops selected No. 1 overall in the draft.

This was the third time the Orioles held the No. 1 overall pick. The club chose right-hander Ben McDonald (LSU) in 1989 and catcher Adley Rutschman (Oregon State) in 2019.

The Arizona Diamondbacks chose outfielder Druw Jones with the second pick. His father, Andruw Jones, was a long-time big league outfielder.

“It takes a lot of hard work to get here and I’m excited for the next part,” Jones said on MLB Network.

Jones batted .570 with 13 homers, 39 RBIs and 32 steals for Wesleyan High in Norcross, Ga., and was named the Gatorade Georgia Player of the Year. He has committed to Vanderbilt.

The Texas Rangers took right-hander Kumar Rocker with the third overall pick. Rocker was selected 10th by the New York Mets in 2021 but opted not to sign before the Aug. 1 deadline and made five starts earlier this season in the independent Frontier League.

Rocker went 28-10 with a 2.89 ERA in three seasons at Vanderbilt (2019-21). He will join former Vandy teammate Jack Leiter, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft, in the Texas organization.

It has been a long wait for Rocker, but he said it was worth it.

“Walk by faith, not by fear. Hard work pays off at the end of the day,” Rocker said on MLB Network.

The Pittsburgh Pirates took shortstop Termarr Johnson with the fourth pick. Johnson, from Mays High (Ga.), is considered by some talent evaluators as the best pure hitter in this draft.

“We are thrilled to select Termarr with the No. 4 overall selection,” Pittsburgh general manager Ben Cherington said in a news release. “We held true to our board and selected who we believe was the best available talent. Termarr has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order impact bat at a premium position.”

The Washington Nationals took outfielder Elijah Green with the fifth overall pick. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Green, who played at IMG Academy in Florida, is the son of former NFL Pro Bowl tight end Eric Green.

Baseball America tabbed Green as both the “best power hitter” and “best athlete” in the draft.

After four of the first five picks were high school players, the rest of the top 10 consisted of college players.

Choosing sixth, the Miami Marlins tabbed LSU third baseman Jacob Berry. The Chicago Cubs held the seventh pick and selected Oklahoma right-hander Cade Horton.

The Minnesota Twins used the eighth pick on Cal Poly switch-hitting shortstop Brooks Lee. The Kansas City Royals chose Virginia Tech outfielder Gavin Cross with the No. 9 choice, while the Colorado Rockies selected Gonzaga right-hander Gabriel Hughes with the 10th pick.

Texas Tech second baseman Jace Jung, brother of Josh Jung, who was the No. 8 pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the 12th pick. The Los Angeles Angels followed by taking Campbell shortstop Zach Neto, who climbed up draft boards after hitting .407 with 15 home runs and 50 RBIs this past season.

“I’m just so grateful that Detroit came up there and got me,” Jung said. “It was an awesome feeling.”

The Cleveland Guardians snagged an impressive bat at No. 16 in James Madison outfielder Chase DeLauter. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound DeLauter turned heads last summer during his time in the Cape Cod Baseball League, where he finished tied with Seattle Mariners’ second-round pick Tyler Locklear with a league-best nine homers. DeLauter then hit .437 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs in 24 games this past season.

A couple of talented southpaws went late in the first round, as Oregon State’s Cooper Hjerpe was taken by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 22nd pick and Brandon Barriera of American Heritage School (FL) was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 23rd pick.

Toronto’s AL East rivals then bolstered positions where there is no shortage of young talent.

The Red Sox took Orange Luthern High School (CA) shortstop Mikey Romero with the 24th overall pick, and he’s already drawing comparisons to Boston’s first-round pick from last year’s draft, shortstop Marcelo Mayer. At No. 25, the Yankees grabbed Vanderbilt outfielder Spencer Jones, who could pair nicely with outfielder Jasson Dominguez, New York’s third-best prospect currently in the organization.

To cap the first round, the San Francisco Giants selected one of the most intriguing players in the draft in Reggie Crawford out of UConn. At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Crawford is a two-way player that features a mid-high 90s fastball. He didn’t play last season due to Tommy John surgery, though.

Crawford had recently announced that he was transferring to Tennessee after playing two seasons with the Huskies.

The draft is being held outdoors for the first time as part of All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.

MLBPipeline rates the Orioles as the top farm system in baseball. Baltimore entered the All-Star break Sunday with a 46-46 record after winning only 52 games in 2021 (52-110).

The Orioles own three additional picks in the top 67 overall.

–Field Level Media

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