Draft day has come and gone, and with all the excitement of who might go first overall, Birdland was waiting with anticipation to find out who the newest Baby Birds would be.
Most of the pundits predicted Druw Jones as the top pick. He has the most athletic talent amongst the players available. Termarr Johnson had the purest bat coming out of high school, and Jackson Holliday had the most upside.
With the first pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the Baltimore Orioles selected from Stillwater, Oklahoma, shortstop Jackson Holliday.
SS Jackson Holliday – Stillwater High School (Oklahoma)
The son of former seven-time All-Star, Matt Holliday, Jackson set the national record for hits with 89. He was also a two-time Rawlings High School Gold Glove winner, as he prides himself on being an all-around, five-tool talent.
Holliday’s uncle is the head baseball coach at Oklahoma State, where Jackson’s grandfather coached for 26 years. His brother Ethan is one of the top prospects for the 2025 class.
Standing at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Jackson was named Gatorade Oklahoma Baseball Player of the Year, as well as Baseball America’s National Player of the Year.
Holliday hit .685 across 40 games this past season with an OPS of 1.392. He had 52 extra base hits, including 17 home runs, and he would steal 30 bases in 30 attempts during his senior year.
His speed grades out as a plus, with an arm that grades out solid-to-plus. He has an advanced approach in the box with good power as a left-handed hitter.
Jackson hits the ball with authority and is allowing his power to come naturally. He has improved quickness on defense, and his high baseball IQ would allow him to stay at shortstop.
OF Dylan Beavers – University of California, Berkeley
Coming in at 6-foot-4, 206 pounds, Dylan Beavers is Baltimore’s second pick in the first round.
A batting style that resembles Christian Yelich and Kyle Tucker, Beavers would lead the PAC-10 in home runs with 18 in 2021. He would follow that up by hitting 17 the following season.
When locked in, Beavers, like Holliday, has five-tool potential, but as his focus wanes he struggles, as shown with Team USA and the Cape Cod League.
Though he does have some holes in his swing, as he struggles with inside pitches, he does possess a raw power that grades out as a plus.
He possesses above average speed, and his near-plus arm might allow him to remain in center but could slot in better at right field.
He will need some work on his mechanics, but the risk is worth it, if he can tap into all of his tools.
3B Max Wagner – Clemson University
Talk about your comeback story. Wagner, who played two years at Clemson, hit .214 his first season and was amongst the 10 worst hitters in the ACC.
Come 2022, Wagner turned it on and became ACC Player of the Year, a First-Team All-American and a finalist for National Player of the Year. He would set a Clemson record with 27 home runs, as well as bat .369 on the season.
Wagner would reach base in Clemson’s final 42 games, while building an OBP of .496. He would also walk 42 times on the season.
Wagner has a solid command of the strike zone with plus power to the pull side. His defense isn’t strong at third, which might force him to corner outfield as he progresses.
OF Jud Fabian – University of Florida
After turning down a contract from the Boston Red Sox in 2021, Fabian returned to school to focus on his plate discipline.
He would go on to walk 22 more times than the previous year and reduced his strikeouts by 10, with nine more plate appearances. In the process, he would hit 24 home runs, becoming the first Florida Gator to record back-to-back 20 home run campaigns.
Fabian has speed to remain in center field but might be better suited in a corner outfield spot. He has an average arm, and his plate discipline improved, but he still has a high strikeout rate.
The Orioles, Birdland and The Baltimore Battery want to welcome the newest additions to our organization. We look forward to seeing them grow and spread their wings and fly.
Make sure you stayed tuned to The Baltimore Battery for our evaluation of the O’s picks from rounds three through 10, coming to you later in the week.
What do you think of the O’s first four selections? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!
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