Fifteen years after seeing his father play in the World Series as a member of the Colorado Rockies, Jackson Holliday's Major League Baseball journey has begun.
The Baltimore Orioles selected Holliday with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 MLB draft on Sunday.
Holliday is the oldest son of seven-time All-Star Matt Holliday. Matt was a seventh-round draft pick by the Rockies out of Stillwater High School in 1998. He spent five full seasons in the minors before getting called up to The Show in 2004.
Jackson's path to the big leagues figures to be more expedited, as long as he develops as expected. The 18-year-old was named Oklahoma's Baseball Player of the Year after a historic 2022 high school season.
Jacob Unruh @jacobunruh
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OKState?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OKState</a> commit and projected top-five draft pick Jackson Holliday was named the state’s baseball Gatorade Player of the Year today. <br><br>The son of Matt Holliday had a national-record 89 hits, batted .685, hit 17 homers, stole 30 bases and had an insane 2.141 OPS.
Per MLB.com, Holliday is the No. 2 overall prospect in this year's draft with above-average tools across the board, including a plus hit tool:
"Holliday has an advanced approach, no surprise given his roots, and a knack for putting the barrel on the ball. He usually makes consistent hard contact, though he didn't during the summer when he let his simple left-handed stroke get too long. After getting bigger and stronger, he's hitting the ball with more authority than ever this spring, and he also looks more relaxed at the plate and is letting his considerable power come naturally."
There will still be a steep learning curve for Holliday as he transitions into pro ball, but he's got a smooth swing from the left side of the plate that will carry him a long way as he develops his other skills.
It's unclear at this point if Holliday will be able to remain at shortstop as he gets older. He's got excellent speed and some twitchiness to handle the position, but a lot will be determined by how he changes physically as his body continues to mature.
The Orioles are certainly trending in the right direction, though there remains a lot of work to do at the MLB level.
Adley Rutschman, the No. 2 overall prospect in MLB coming into the season, made his big league debut in May. Right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez (No. 6 overall prospect) could make his debut later this season.
The Athletic's Keith Law had Baltimore's farm system ranked as the 10th-best group in MLB coming into this season. Colton Cowser, Gunnar Henderson, D.L. Hall and Jordan Westburg could join Rutschman and Rodriguez in forming the nucleus of the next great Orioles team.
Adding Holliday to the mix will go a long way toward ensuring that Baltimore's farm system remains strong as many of those prospects start to graduate within the next year or two. He will eventually join them in the big leagues, as the Orioles look to load up in an attempt to build a consistently dominant team capable of competing with the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox in the American League East.