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)

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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 MLB.com 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

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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 MLBPipeline.com 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

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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 MLBPipeline.com:

* 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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