Day 1 of the 2022 MLB draft is in the books. The Orioles had the chance on Sunday night to take four players who they hope will load up their farm system even further for the future. They made a semi-surprise pick at #1 overall, choosing Jackson Holliday, son of seven-time All-Star Matt. Later in the evening, the Orioles added a trio of college hitters, including Florida outfielder Jud Fabian, who they were said to be interested in last year before the Red Sox took him and didn’t sign him one pick before the O’s.
For anyone who had spent the days leading up to the draft getting excited about either Druw Jones (#2 to the Diamondbacks) or Termarr Johnson (#4 to the Pirates), it’s something of a disappointing outcome that the Orioles went with someone else. One person who sure sounded excited about the Orioles drafting Holliday was GM Mike Elias:
Mike Elias on Jackson Holliday: "The upside for him is enormous. It’s a potential star playing shortstop, batting in the middle of the order, doing so for a very long time. In some regard, I don’t know that the ceiling gets much higher than somebody with that profile.” #Orioles— Nathan Ruiz (@NathanSRuiz) July 18, 2022
You must always take a GM or scouting director’s words immediately after making a top draft pick with many grains of salt. Every one of these people gets in front of the microphones and talks about how happy they are that they got the guy they wanted, they believe in his potential, and so on. Some of them do not turn out to be correct. So the praise, no matter how exuberant, doesn’t matter until it’s backed up by pro performance. But still, you know, it’s nice. Elias has seen some good players. For him to get excited, it’s not dumb to hope that means something.
It’s not like Holliday was some kind of obscure player plucked from farther down draft boards for #1 consideration. At MLB Pipeline and FanGraphs, Holliday was the #2 guy, behind only Jones. He is a shortstop who many evaluators think will stick at shortstop, some folks think he could have 25-30 home run power.
Once he signs with the Orioles, Holliday will be headed for the Florida Complex League, and then his talent and development will take him upward from there. Elias sounds like he’s prepared to be aggressive with the player if his performance warrants.
Player quotes are in the same category as GMs. They’re all confident, they all think they can make it, and so on. That having been said, Holliday sure seems like he is ready for the spotlight:
Jackson Holliday: "I want to be the best player, and I want to honor the Orioles for for selecting me. I'm going to work as hard as I can to to make it to the Major Leagues and have a great career for them and for their fans. I'm very excited, and I always compete."— Zachary Silver (@zachsilver) July 18, 2022
Jackson Holliday has been at this baseball thing for a long time. Here’s some video of 3-year-old Jackson playing around with his dad:
That kid was taking some good rips from pretty much as soon as he could hold a bat.
The draft resumes at 2pm Eastern today, with rounds 3-10 coming by day’s end.
For the MLB team, it’s the All-Star break! There is not another Orioles game until Friday. Most seasons, it’s a relief to not have any O’s games to watch for a few days. It’s like being freed temporarily from a curse. In 2022, with the team at .500 heading into the break and only a 3.5 game deficit to a wild card spot, I’m impatient to see some more, even though their next seven games are against the Yankees and Rays.
Around the blogO’sphere
He’s No. 1/1: Jackson Holliday on being drafted by the Orioles (Steve Melewski)
One of the things that Jackson said he learned from his MLB father Matt is how to deal with his failure. He also told Orioles reporters, “I don’t want to have a weakness. Trying to grow myself as a player and a person was something that was very important.” Sounds like he probably checked the makeup box.
Meet the 1st of a new generation of Hollidays (MLB.com)
MLB profiled the Orioles #1 pick a few weeks before the draft. He’s probably not going to be the last Holliday to be drafted - though let’s hope the Orioles are too good to draft brother Ethan in 2025.
Orioles reliving history with season surge and top pick in draft (ESPN)
ESPN noticed us for something that’s not negative? Is that allowed? They note the similarity to the 1989 Orioles. If you’ve noticed this too, you could support Camden Chat by buying a t-shirt. If you don’t want to, it’s OK. We can still be friends.
Elias on drafting Holliday with first pick (School of Roch)
“With the five tools that he brings to the table, with the defensive position that he plays, with the off-field work ethic we know is there, and the presence of both a power and hit tool, I think even if his development doesn’t go perfectly, there’s a lot of different productive pathways this will go down.” Hell yeah!
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
One lone former Oriole was born on this day. Happy 78th birthday to Rudy May, whose 16-year MLB career took him through Baltimore in 1976 and 1977. May had a 3.68 ERA in 404 innings as an Oriole, which sounds pretty good these days but was actually below average (98 ERA+) back then.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: author William Makepeace Thackeray (1811), statesman Nelson Mandela (1918), pioneering American astronaut John Glenn (1921), journalist Hunter S. Thompson (1937), actor Vin Diesel (1967), and rapper M.I.A. (1975).
On this day in history...
In 1389, the Hundred Years’ War saw a period of peace begin following a meeting between France and England’s kings that led to the Truce of Leulinghem. Meant to last 27 years, the peace lasted only 13 after Richard II of England was deposed and the war re-ignited under his successor, Henry IV.
In 1925, the infamous Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler was first published.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on July 18. Have a safe Monday.