Report: No. 1 Pick Jackson Holliday, Orioles Agree to 'Record' Contract for HS Player

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 21, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17:  A view of the draft board and stage after the selection of Jackson Holliday as the first pick overall during the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft at L.A. Live on Sunday, July 17, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Baltimore Orioles have reached a contract agreement with No. 1 overall draft pick Jackson Holliday on a record deal for a high school player, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

No. 1 overall pick Jackson Holliday is in agreement with the Orioles on a record deal for a HS player, just a touch over No. 2 pick Druw Jones $8.185M deal. Holliday is a SS from Oklahoma and the son of Matt Holliday.

Holliday, who is the son of former MLB outfielder Matt Holliday, played ball for Stillwater High School in Oklahoma. He hit .685 with 89 hits, 17 home runs and 79 RBI last season.

Darragh McDonald of MLB Trade Rumors gave some more context on the money:

"The No. 1 overall pick came with an accompanying slot value of $8.84MM. Though Heyman is vague about the exact figure, it seems like the Orioles will save around $600K to spread around to some of their other draft picks.

"The Orioles have a bonus pool of $16.933MM at their disposal, the largest amount for this year’s draft. Teams are allowed to outspend their pool by as much as 5% without losing future draft picks, although there is a 75% tax on the overage. That means the Orioles can spend around $17.78MM in bonuses, though it seems Holliday will take close to half of that."

That appears to be money well-spent for the Orioles, who are obviously bullish about his prospects.

"He's a five-tool shortstop left-handed bat," Orioles GM Mike Elias said on the pick, per The Athletic. "We project him to remain as a shortstop defensively. But he does it all. He throws. He's a plus runner. He's gonna hit and hit for power. He's got the best swing in the draft or one of the best swings in the draft. He's got everything in front of him."

FanGraphs raved about his future potential as well: "He checks literally every box, and there aren't many lefty-hitting shortstops with this kind of juice. He projects as an All-Star shortstop."

Holliday joins a loaded Orioles farm system that already included five players in MLB.com's top-100 prospect list, including pitcher Grayson Rodriguez and infielder Gunnar Henderson. As Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post wrote, things are looking good in Baltimore after some lean years.

Chelsea Janes @chelsea_janes

Orioles finish the first half at .500, still have Gunnar Henderson, Grayson Rodriguez and others arriving imminently, and now get Jackson Holliday with the first overall pick. Not a bad few months in Baltimore after a bad few years in Baltimore.

Holliday is the second son of an ex-major leaguer to be drafted first overall, as Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. first earned the honor with the Seattle Mariners in 1987.