In OBP and walk rate, the O's 2022 draft class got off to strong start


In the 20-round MLB Draft last summer, the Orioles selected 10 position players and 10 pitchers. They signed nine of the position players. And in what was clearly a small sample which should be noted, that group of nine showed some outstanding plate discipline which could bode well for their future MLB chances.

As a group of nine players, the Orioles draft class produced a collective .400 OBP to rank second only to Seattle's draft class. The Mariners also had nine players that produced a collective .405 OBP.

But the Orioles did rank No. 1 in MLB with a draft class walk rate of 17.3 with San Diego (also nine players) second at 16.2.

Among O’s minor league players with 50 or more plate appearances last year, no player had a better walk-to-strikeout rate as a hitter than O’s No. 1 overall pick Jackson Holliday. He also led the organization with a 27.8 walk rate. He is just 18 years old.

Over 20 games between the Florida Complex League and low-A Delmarva, Holliday walked 25 times with just 12 strikeouts. That is a robust 2.08 walk-to-strikeout ratio, the best on the O's farm. Maxwell Costes, a non-drafted free agent from the University of Maryland was next at 1.50 with Adley Rutschman third at 1.38.

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Jim Callis: “I will be absolutely surprised if Jackson Holliday is not a superstar"

holliday in cage

For young Jackson Holliday, a lot was expected and a lot was delivered. The player the Orioles took No. 1 overall in the 2022 MLB Draft had a pretty solid 20-game pro debut.

It started with him tearing it up in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League for eight games and followed with 12 games at Single-A Delmarva where he certainly held his own.

Between the two levels at just age 18, Holliday showed a great batting eye and he walked 25 times with just 12 strikeouts. He ended the year ranked as the Orioles' No. 3 prospect behind Gunnar Henderson and Grayson Rodriguez, and in national top 100s, he is rated No. 13 by and No. 38 by Baseball America.

In his first season after being a high school drafted player in 2019, Henderson played in 29 games in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and batted .259/.331/.370 with a .701 OPS, 11 walks and 28 strikeouts. He had a 9.1 walk rate and 23.1 strikeout rate.

Holliday in eight FCL games batted .409/.576/.591 with a 1.167 OPS, 10 walks and two strikeouts. In the FCL, he had a 30.3 walk rate and 6.1 strikeout rate. Then in 12 games with the Shorebirds, he hit .238/.439/.333 with a .772 OPS, 15 walks to 10 strikeouts, producing a 26.3 walk rate and 17.5 strikeout rate.

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Because You Asked - State of the Union

lyles pitch home orange

The first post-World Series mailbag has been emptied. Much like my hopes for a Game 7.

There’s nothing better in sports. And it delays the actual offseason for one more day.

I’ve grown to love the period of calm. A few small-scale transactions and some announcements on awards, but that’s about it.

(I picked the Astros in six games, but I digress …)

Now we’re ripe for rumors. I’ve already seen one prediction that the Orioles will sign Carlos Correa.

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Getting crowded on the farm at higher levels in the infield

jackson holliday bp

Having too many good players is not really a problem for any major league club. As we look down the road a year or two at the Orioles infield, it is starting to get crowded between players we’ve already seen in Baltimore and players on the way.

Of the current top 18 players on the O’s top 30 prospects list via, nine are infielders, and seven of the nine have played at least as high as Double-A already. The depth is strong.

Gunnar Henderson, at least for now, is still prospect eligible and is the club’s No. 1 prospect with Jackson Holliday at No. 3, Jordan Westburg No. 5, Coby Mayo No. 7, Connor Norby No. 11, Max Wagner No. 15, Darell Hernaiz No. 16, Joey Ortiz No 17 and César Prieto No. 18.

Only four players can start on the infield each day, they tell me.

How will the Orioles handle this? Will there be trades? Will any of these players have to move positions?

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Hyde on Wells, Garcia, lineup, and roster expansion

Tyler wells pitching white

Tyler Wells threw his second bullpen session today and keeps making progress in his eventual return from a left oblique injury.

Wells is nearing a live batting practice session to get him reacclimated to facing hitters.

“It’s going very well,” Hyde said. “Threw his second bullpen, feels great after. All positive news from there.”

The Orioles haven’t determined Well’s role after he makes it back onto the active roster. Building him back up as a starter will take longer, which could influence them to make him a reliever.

“We’re still going to work some things out,” Hyde said.

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This, that and the other


The Orioles begin a crucial non-division series tonight with the White Sox in town for three games.

Crucial no longer seems like a necessary designation. It's redundant. They're all big.

Every tie-breaking scenario comes into play with a packed wild card race, and the Orioles won three of four in Chicago back in June. Head-to-head results are important.

They missed out on a sweep after Dylan Cease, who starts tonight, held them to one run and struck out 13 batters in seven innings. They scored two unearned runs in the ninth off Kendall Graveman after consecutive errors by first baseman José Abreu in a 4-3 loss.

So long ago that Jonathan Arauz homered and had a run-scoring single.

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Tonight's game postponed and rescheduled for Sept. 5 doubleheader (updated)

orioles tarp

Tonight’s game between the Orioles and Blue Jays has been postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a traditional doubleheader on Monday, Sept. 5.

The first game starts at 1:05 p.m. The second game is slated to begin about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the opener.

Fans holding tickets for the originally scheduled 1:05 p.m. game on Sept. 5 should use them for both games of the doubleheader.

Tickets for tonight’s game aren’t valid for the doubleheader. Fans may exchange the value of their tickets toward any remaining regular season home game this season, including the doubleheader, based on availability.

The first 15,000 fans ages 15 and over attending the doubleheader will receive a Ryan Mountcastle t-shirt.

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Minor league notes on Ortiz, Cowser, Hall, Holliday and more


It has finally happened. The Double-A Bowie Baysox are rolling. It happened later than we thought but the Baysox are making up for lost time now.

After going 27-42 in the first-half Eastern League race, Bowie has surged into first place in its division in the second half, going 20-8 heading into Thursday’s game. The Baysox have a few scorching hot hitters and a bullpen that has posted a 2.48 ERA in the second half after posting a 4.78 ERA earlier.

Among the hottest hitters is shortstop Joey Ortiz, the club’s fourth-round pick in 2019 from New Mexico State. The Orioles' first three selections in that draft were Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson and Kyle Stowers, and they took Ortiz as their fifth pick.

He got off to a very slow start this season after undergoing season-ending left shoulder surgery last June. He ended this June batting .206 with a .596 OPS. Then he got on fire for the Baysox in July and produced a batting line of .404/.438/.674 with an OPS of 1.112.

“He had an elite shoulder injury that is difficult to come back from, and I think he has finally found his strength and his groove,” said Matt Blood, the Orioles' director of player development. “And he’s been making little adjustments all along the way. This is the player we saw last year before he got hurt. Probably a combination of getting fully healthy and strong as well as making adjustments to the league and the pitching he’s seen this year. Joey and that Bowie team are playing fantastic.”

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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.

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Leftovers from Jackson Holliday press conference


Shortstop Jackson Holliday signed his first professional contract yesterday, the $8.19 million bonus setting a record for a high school selection. A big-time perk for going one/one.

Holliday hasn’t made an extravagant purchase or drawn up a shopping list. He smiled about it yesterday, one of those moments that reminded you of his youth, that he’s still a kid.

“I already got a car,” he said, “so nothing yet.”

He has plenty of time. And a family that’s instilled the right values.

Holliday never thought about doing something else with his life, to pursue a different dream, and there are witnesses to it in his household. Never a time when he wanted to ditch the sport that his father, Matt, played in the majors for 15 seasons.

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Matt Holliday happy to pass the baseball baton to son Jackson


The family tables have turned for the Hollidays.

Jackson Holliday is no longer “Matt’s son,” as he’s been referenced for most of his life. Matt Holliday, who had a 15-year major league career and made seven All-Star teams, was introduced today as “Jackson’s dad” to begin a press conference at Camden Yards.

Much to his amusement.

The former outfielder repeated the line before and after sitting down in front of the cameras and recorders. It already felt natural. It gave him another reason to be proud.

The Orioles selected Jackson with the first-overall pick in the MLB Draft, signed him to a contract this afternoon and introduced him to the local media. Matt, wife Leslee, children Ethan, Reed and Gracyn and Jackson's girlfriend Chloe Cox sat in the front row as Jackson buttoned his Orioles jersey and pulled down his cap.

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Jackson Holliday from his press conference, and Terrin Vavra set for MLB debut

adley jackson

The Orioles third-ever No. 1 overall MLB Draft pick arrived at Camden Yards today. But not for good this time. Jackson Holliday, taken No. 1 overall by the team July 17, has signed his first pro contract and will report to the O’s camp in Sarasota, Fla. tomorrow.

He is going to start his pro career playing in the rookie-level Florida Complex League.

“I’m very, very excited to start playing,” the 18-year-old Holliday said at today’s introductory press conference that also featured O’s executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias and Holliday’s agent Scott Boras. “It’s been a little bit since I’ve been able to compete on the baseball field. So very excited to get down to Florida and get going. This is what I wanted to do as long as I can remember. It’s a blessing to be where I’m sitting right now.”

Holliday got a bonus of $8.19 million, a record for a high school selection. He produced prodigious 41-game high school stats of .685/.749/1.392 with 29 doubles, six triples, 17 homers and 79 RBIs. His 89 hits set a national high school record.

He gets scouting tool grades of 55 or better across the board with his hit tool, running and arm grading out at 60 by Baseball America.

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Hyde on Vavra, Orioles introducing Holliday tomorrow at contract signing


The Orioles are ready to unleash another prospect on major league opponents.

Terrin Vavra, acquired from the Rockies as part of the 2020 Mychal Givens trade, has been recalled from Triple-A Norfolk. He’ll be on the bench tonight with the Rays starting left-hander Shane McClanahan.

Vavra is batting .324/.435/.451 with 14 doubles, one triple, two home runs, 18 RBIs, 28 walks and 36 strikeouts in 45 games with Norfolk. He missed five weeks with a strained right hamstring.

For the month of July, Vavra is slashing .296/.441/.444 with 16 hits in 54 at-bats. He was 17-for-52 (.327) in April and 2-for-4 in May before the injury.

“He’s been swinging the ball well all year in Norfolk,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “He played a few positions. And we’re so right-handed that adding a left-handed bat is nice for us. And good to see a young guy playing well in Triple-A get rewarded with getting called up to the big leagues.”

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Orioles reach agreement with first draft pick Jackson Holliday (updated)

orioles mlb draft

The Orioles have an agreement in place with prep shortstop Jackson Holliday, the first-overall pick in the MLB Draft. The next step before his official signing.

Holliday is getting a record deal for a high school player, slightly more than the $8.185 million bonus that outfielder Druw Jones received from the Diamondbacks as the second-overall selection, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

The first selection is slotted at $8,842,200. The Orioles are holding $16,924,000 in their bonus pool.

The left-handed hitting Holliday 18, set a national record with 89 hits in 41 games at Stillwater High School in Oklahoma, passing J.T. Realmuto, while batting .685 with 29 doubles, six triples, 17 home runs, 79 RBIs, 74 runs scored, a .749 on-base percentage and a 1.392 slugging percentage.

Holliday was the No. 2 overall draft prospect by and No. 3 by Baseball America. The four-year starter batted .500 (62-for-124) with 16 doubles, six triples, six home runs, 57 RBIs, 54 runs scored and 19 stolen bases in 37 games as a junior and was named to USA Baseball’s 18U National Team in 2021.

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A look at the O's four picks on first day of MLB Draft

draft platform 2022

When the Orioles made their third No. 1 overall MLB Draft pick in team history on Sunday night, the pick was a popular one with a couple of the MLB Network analysts. They reacted quite favorably on the telecast when the O’s selected high school shortstop Jackson Holliday from Stillwater, Okla.

The son of long-time big league outfielder Matt Holliday, Jackson was Baseball America’s national High School Player of the Year. Holliday, who gets 60 grades from scouts for his hit tool, running and arm, is age 18 and hit .685/.749/1.392 (89-for-130) with 29 doubles, six triples, 17 home runs, 74 runs scored, 79 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 40 games during his senior season. His 89 hits set a national high school record.

He follows Ben McDonald in 1989 and Adley Rutschman in 2019 as O’s 1/1 picks and is the first high school position player the team made its top draft pick since Manny Machado in 2010.

The slot amount to sign Holliday is listed at $8,842,200.

“They didn’t cut a deal here,” said Jim Callis of on the MLB Network draft telecast. “They took one of the best players. I think Jackson Holliday is probably the best combination of hitting ability and ceiling in this draft. He plays on the infield, Druw Jones (drafted second) is an outfielder, there is defensive value here. I like Harold's (Reynolds) Bobby Witt Jr. parallel. He is a five-tool shortstop. I can’t think of too many players - and Jackson Holliday is one - that got better in every phase of the game (this season). Better hitter, stronger, faster, better arm, better shortstop as a senior. He was a good player coming in and he’s a great player now. I love this pick for the Orioles.”

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Doubling back to the MLB Draft

bird at 2022 draft

TAMPA, Fla. - A few takeaways from the first night of the MLB Draft:

Jackson Holliday’s father, former major league outfielder Matt Holliday, knew about the selection 30 seconds ahead of the announcement because he received a call from Scott Boras.

I didn’t make the immediate connection. Boras used to represent Matt, and he negotiated his client’s seven-year, $120 million deal with the Cardinals back in 2010.

Of course, Boras would rep Jackson.

From the moment that the Orioles drafted Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman one/one rather than prep shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. in 2019, they were destined to have their careers tracked side by side. It won’t be the same with Holliday and Druw Jones, who went second to the Diamondbacks, because they weren’t universally seen as the top two prospects in the class. But there will still be comparisons as they embark on their professional careers.

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He's No. 1/1: Jackson Holliday on being drafted by the Orioles


For the third time in club history tonight the Orioles had the overall No. 1 selection in the MLB Draft. And after taking Ben McDonald in 1989 and Adley Rutschman 30 years later, the O’s went into the high school ranks tonight to select shortstop Jackson Holliday from Stillwater (Okla.) High School.

He is the first high school player the O’s selected with their top pick since pitcher Grayson Rodriguez in 2018, and first high school position player they spent their top pick on since Manny Machado was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 draft.

As it turns out, Holliday, 18, found out he would be an Oriole about the same time the rest of us did.

“I kind of found out as they were saying it,” he told O’s reporters on a team Zoom call. “That was kind of cool. My dad didn’t really tell me. He was on the phone and then he’s like ‘All right, just going to find out.’ That was very, very neat and something I’ll never forget. I didn’t know it was a possibility, to be honest, going into the high school season. I just wanted to help my team and hopefully put myself into a good position heading into today.”

Holliday said his dad, former big leaguer Matt Holliday, was on the phone with his representative, Scott Boras.

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Orioles select Jackson Holliday with first pick in draft (updated with fourth pick)


The Orioles had five players on their board through the final weeks leading to tonight’s MLB Draft. They stuck to it, deliberated with scouts and front office personnel in a series of meetings, had a Zoom call with manager Brandon Hyde to bring him into the loop and settled on Oklahoma prep shortstop Jackson Holliday.

Holliday committed to Oklahoma State, but he’s ready to turn professional. Like his father, former major league outfielder and seven-time All-Star Matt Holliday.

The left-handed hitting Jackson, who’s 18 and listed at 6-feet-1 and 175 pounds, set a national record with 89 hits in 41 games at Stillwater High School, passing J.T. Realmuto, while batting .685 with 29 doubles, six triples, 17 home runs, 79 RBIs, 74 runs scored, a .749 on-base percentage and a 1.392 slugging percentage.

He has a knack for putting the barrel on the ball, as noted just about everywhere.

It's no wonder that Holliday was named Oklahoma's prep player of the year.

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Predicting who the O's take at No. 1? Good luck with that one

elias orange tie

We are now less than two weeks away from the First-Year Player Draft, where for the third time in draft history the Orioles will have the No. 1 overall pick. They selected pitcher Ben McDonald out of LSU No. 1 in 1989 and catcher Adley Rutschman No. 1 out of Oregon State in 2019.

Now for the second time in four drafts, they again pick 1/1.

Here are the latest top five player draft rankings, which includes four high school players at the top, by

* No. 1 – Georgia high school outfielder Druw Jones. He is the son of five-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner Andruw Jones. The 18-year-old Jones gets 70 tool grades for running and fielding, and he could grow into plus power, too.

* No. 2 – Oklahoma high school shortstop Jackson Holliday. Yes, another son of a famous father, his dad is a seven-time All-Star outfielder. The younger Holliday has an impressive advanced hitting approach, and added size and strength this year.

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