Will Druw Jones or Jackson Holliday Hear Their Name Called First?
Neither Andruw Jones nor Matt Holliday ever experienced the thrill of being the top pick in the Major League Baseball June Draft. According to the MLB Draft odds, the feeling is that either Jones’ son Druw or Holliday’s son Jackson, could be first overall to the Baltimore Orioles. Jones hails from Georgia and Holliday is from Oklahoma. Another Georgia high school product (Termarr Johnson) also figures to go early on in the draft.
As a native of Curacao, Jones was signed by the Atlanta Braves as an international free agent in 1993. Holliday was a seventh-round pick by the Colorado Rockies in the 1998 draft. It is safe to say that the two former Major League Baseball All-Star outfielders are preparing for a whole new set of memories when the 2022 draft kicks off on Sunday.
Chips Off the Old Block
The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree when it comes to the top prospects available in the upcoming draft.
Not only are the sons of Jones and Holliday expected to go early, but former NFL tight end Eric Green’s son is also another player likely to go in the top 10 according to the MLB draft odds.
Jones’s father was an elite defensive outfielder and his son has some of the same attributes to go with a well-rounded offensive game. It is the latter set of skills that Jones listed at -150 to be the top pick.
As for Holiday, the middle infielder was slotted as a potential No. 1 overall pick in a mock draft posted on the MLB.com site in early June.
Baseball America bestowed the 2022 High School Baseball Player of the Year award on Holiday. The shortstop from Oklahoma hit .685 with 17 home runs and 79 RBIs as a senior at Stillwater High School. He was a perfect 30 for 30 on stolen bases. If he opts to head to college, he won’t go far considering that he has committed to his hometown Oklahoma State team.
Johnson has +900 odds to go first in the draft. Another Georgia high school product, the shortstop has the speed to burn and a great approach at the plate. He is committed to Arizona State but it is hard to imagine Johnson following through with that if he goes this high in the draft. Some scouts are talking him up as the best pure hitter in this draft class
Elijah Green stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 225 pounds. The right-handed hitting outfielder has the speed and power that MLB teams are looking for.
Green hit nearly .350 with four home runs in seven games when the U.S. Under-18 team played a series of games against Canada in 2021.
College Stars Probably Have to Wait
Each of the last four No. 1 picks has come from the college ranks. The MLB draft odds are showing a different outcome in the 2022 draft.
That began with Auburn pitcher Casey Mize going to Detroit in 2018. Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, who is starting to move up the list of potential “Rookie of the Year” candidates in the American League, was the top pick by Baltimore in 2019. According to the MLB player stats, among catchers with at least 30 at-bats over the last 30 days, Rutschman ranks in the top 10 in home runs, RBIs, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
Detroit had the top selection once again in 2020 and took corner infielder Spencer Torkelson out of Arizona State. Louisville catcher Henry Davis was the first player chosen in 2021, going to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
It has been 24 years since college players were selected first in five consecutive drafts.
This draft isn’t lacking in talented college players.
Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee (+300 to go first overall) could be the first college player selected on Sunday. He hit .357 with 25 doubles, 15 home runs, and 55 RBIs in 58 games. He walked 46 times as well and scored 56 runs.
Jacob Berry (+2000 to go first overall) hit .370 with an on-base percentage of .370 in 53 games at LSU in 2022. Primarily a third baseman at LSU, he also saw some time in the outfield.
Gavin Cross (+6600 to go first overall) saw his average drop a bit from the 2021 season at Virginia Tech. Still, he was 12 for 12 in stolen bases to go with 14 doubles, eight triples, and 17 RBIs while hitting .328 for the Hokies.
The 6-foot-2 outfielder began the 2022 season on a 14-game hitting streak
Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada (+8000 to go first overall) has big-league power as proven by his 26 home runs and 88 RBIs in 60 games during the 2022 season. He also scored 79 times, had nearly as many walks as strikeouts, and was 11 for 12 in stolen bases.
Defensively, Parada committed only four errors and threw out 12 base runners.
High School Phenoms No Sure Thing
Those wondering why college players have been so popular among teams with the top pick, the last two high school players to be selected with the top pick are Royce Lewis and Mickey Moniak. Neither of them has exactly been lighting things up at the MLB level. Lewis has been slowed by injuries while Moniak is still trying to make an impact.
The last high school player to be taken first who has been getting it done in the majors is 2012 top pick, Carlos Correa. He started off starring with the Houston Astros but signed with the Minnesota Twins in the offseason.Follow us on Twitter