More with Boras, Guthrie and Rutschman on Jackson Holliday

You would certainly assume that if Jackson Holliday ever seeks out Adley Rutschman for advice on being the No. 1 overall draft pick, Rutschman will be there to answer any questions he has.

But when he was asked yesterday if he has any advice now for Holliday, you had to figure Rutschman was not going to dispense any just yet. At least not through the media.

“I’m sure he has gotten a lot of advice,” said Rutschman, the Orioles' choice for the top overall pick of 2019, before Wednesday’s game. “He has good mentors around him, so I’m sure they’ve been telling him all he needs to hear. For me, it was just trying to compartmentalize things and not let anything get too much to where I wasn’t enjoying the moment.”

Super agent Scott Boras, who reps the younger Holliday, was also at Wednesday’s introductory press conference, where the O’s presented their latest top draft selection and third 1/1 pick in club history.

Boras said having a father (Matt) who played so long and so well in the majors and a strong family unit is going to serve Jackson Holliday well now as he embarks on his pro career. He is leaving today for Florida and eventually will be playing in games in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League.

“Really, his parents, it’s kind of what you’ve known being around families that grow up in the major leagues,” Boras said. “The portals that they visit – whether it be spring training, being in a big league park or whatever they do – it is like just another part of their life. And then when they go to play the games themselves, the familiarity with it, it’s the norm. Nothing that is anything new. You are used to media and all the components of being a player. They watch the game, so the acclimation process is they grew up this way.”

The young Holliday that O’s reporters met yesterday seems to find a nice balance between being confident in himself but being humble about his place in the game. At least for such a young kid.

“He trusts what he does,” said Boras. “But he also has been around someone highly skilled that has had peaks and valleys in the game in his dad. The awareness of that, that the game will always deliver trials and challenges, and he is comfortable with that because he watched someone deal with it and then come out of it positively. That is where his confidence level comes from.”

The scout’s take: A baseball scout could go his entire career and not come close to having one of the players in his region get picked near the top of the draft. But O’s scout Ken Guthrie, in his 10th season with the club and based out of Sanger, Texas, now has had it happen twice in three years.

He was the signing scout on University of Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad, taken No. 2 overall in 2020, and is the signing scout for Holliday this year.

Maybe in making their best effort to stack up Holliday against other top players before this draft, the Orioles had Guthrie and other scouts see all the top players they were considering for the 1/1 selection this year. They scouted them all in person. Better to rank them against each other by seeing each firsthand.

“That is kind of the culture of our organization and how Brad (Ciolek, director of draft operations) orchestrates things,” Guthrie said yesterday at Camden Yards. “We do some cross pollination with the scouting. It allows us to get different looks. You want to go in and fight for your player and sell your guy (to be that 1/1 pick in pre-draft meetings). But if you don’t know where he stacks up to the rest of the country, often you have a skewed view.

“As a department, I think we do a really good job, and Brad orchestrates it really well. We get multiple looks from multiple scouts on the top players in the country.”

And when draft night arrived and the Orioles were on the clock, Guthrie still was not sure if Holliday was going to be the Orioles' 1/1 pick. Just like the rest of us.

“Mike (Elias) keeps things pretty close to the vest, and I think he probably does it for that element of surprise as well. He obviously has scouted in his career, so he probably enjoys that process for the scout. Yeah, it was down to the wire. I was pretty excited, but at the same time I was excited for our scouting department too,” said Guthrie. 

Last night on the farm: Triple-A Norfolk had a wild game last night, leading Memphis 7-1 after four innings, but trailing 9-7 after seven. The Tides then scored six runs in the top of the ninth to beat Memphis 13-10 and end a five-game losing streak. In the winning rally, Rylan Bannon, Kelvin Gutiérrez, Robert Neustrom and Yusniel Diaz had RBI singles, and Anthony Bemboom added an RBI double.

Gunnar Henderson had a huge night, going 4-for-5 with a double, solo homer and three-run homer. He hit homers Nos. 7 and 8 with Norfolk and has 16 home runs for the season. Henderson is batting .353 during a nine-game hitting streak. 

Double-A Bowie is now 15-7 in the second half and in first place in its division after beating Altoona 12-3. Colton Cowser had two hits, including his first career grand slam, to improve his OPS to 1.156. Joey Ortiz hit No. 8 and is batting .402 in 19 games this month. Bowie has hit four homers the last two nights and scored 23 runs in back-to-back wins.

The Baysox pitching staff has posted a team ERA of 2.98 in the second half to lead the Eastern League in that span. Bowie starting pitchers have allowed three runs or fewer for 17 consecutive games. 



Orioles lineup vs. Rays
Leftovers from Jackson Holliday press conference

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