Rehashing the 2022 MLB Draft: How in the world did the Orioles escape some bad apples?

Jackson Holliday is already in Double-A while the other 4 top 5 picks are languishing.

Picture it, the MLB draft, 2022, the Orioles have the number one pick of the draft and are widely expected to take Druw Jones, the son of Andruw Jones as the first pick. Druw Jones is an immensely talented player with raw power and great potential to be a 32-42 homerun hitter in the majors. Then the pick came.

However, in a stunner, which even stunned myself (I expected Druw Jones myself), the Orioles selected 6′ 1″ 175lb baby-faced shortstop Jackson Holliday, the son of famed power hitter Matt Holliday, who played for the majority of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals (’09-’16). A Gatorade National Player of the Year in Oklahoma, Holliday mashed the ball in high school, hitting .685 (89 hits) with 17 home runs, 79 RBIs, 29 doubles, and 30 stolen bases over 40 games. His draft profile showed that he was a speedy, raw power hitter, and plus fielder with a lively persona.

Jackson Holliday is off to a tremendous start in the minor leagues in just 94 games as he is hitting .330 overall with 8 homeruns, 60 runs driven in, 24 stolen bases, and 111 total hits. Fielding wise, he’s made just 8 errors in 246 chances, and that’s to be expected with the growing into the major league game. He has just a standard stance at the plate with great batting mechanics. Players from all the leagues stated that he’s very quiet, gentlemanly, arrives on time, and does all his best to be ready for the team. He has proven himself to be a strong candidate to be on the Orioles Opening Day roster for 2024 possibly even a rookie of the year candidate.

Out of the top 5 picks of the 2022 draft, Holliday is already at the AA level. Everyone else? Not doing so well.

Druw Jones (Arizona) is languishing in the rookie level league hitting just a paltry .173 (9/52), 0 homeruns, 5 RBI, and to go along with 17 strikeouts in 14 games. During batting practice, in just 2 swings, Druw Jones hurt his shoulder which quickly surmises a possible loss of power. Sources indicate that he has been getting into frequent spats with his coaches and losing play time due to his poor attitude. He remains at the rookie league level, while experts are trying to figure out where his power went. I don’t expect him the MLB any time soon if this keeps up.

Kumar Rocker (Texas) is currently in High A right now with a 2-2 mark and 3.86 ERA. He’s struck out 42 while walking just 7. He seems to be healed from his injury that he suffered as he is touching 95-99mph on the radar gun again.

Termarr Johnson (Pittsburgh) is in Low-A and is finally finding his stride at age 19. He is hitting .250 (52/208) with 11 homeruns and 38 RBI which serious undercuts his rotten start after he was signed. I expect him in the MLB sometime in 2026 or 2027 if he continues at this rate.

Elijah Green (Washington) is in Low-A and has showed flashes of brilliance, but he is having batting issues as he has struck out a whopping 106 times in 211 at-bats. He is hitting .218 with 3 homeruns and 29 RBI to go along with 22 stolen bases. He might not be in the MLB for a while if he keeps up his strikeout problems.

All in all, I think the Orioles made a glorious decision of taking Jackson Holliday. Brad Ciolek, who is the O’s director of scouting, saw something different about him. Orioles have made some bad choices in the past but I definitely and wholeheartedly believe that this new scouting department is being very wise with their selections.

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Joshua Leuschner

Orioles/Ravens/Capitals/Terrapins/Inter Miami CF fan. Runs a podcast who tells it like it is (I-95 East Coast Sports Podcast) and loves sports, sports betting (responsibly of course), and finding arcane statistics in professional sports. He is also a devoted classic cartoon enthusiast (1930s rubberhose and 1940s-1960s silver/golden age animation), video game player, Enya enthusiast, devotee of classical music (Mozart, Sibelius, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and others), Hair/Classic/80s Rock fan, beer connoisseur, gym goer, former Slow Pitch Softball Player, and traveler.

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