Recapping the O’s 2022 Draft Selections
The Orioles made history on Sunday, July 17, when they selected Jackson Holliday, an infielder from Stillwater High School (OK), with the first overall pick of the 2022 MLB First-Year Player Draft. It marked the third time in team history, and the first since 2019, the Baltimore Orioles held the first overall pick of the draft.
The Orioles entered the 2022 draft with the second-largest draft pool in MLB history. They finished the draft with 22 total selections. The class consisted of 11 right-handed pitchers, one left-handed pitcher, four outfielders, four infielders, and two catchers. Of the O’s 22 of the selections, 20 were college athletes, and only two, including Holliday, were selected out of high school.
“We’re adding what’s going to be a big new wave to the bottom of what is an excellent farm system,” said Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Elias. “This Orioles organization is in the healthiest spot it’s been in in a very long time, and it just got a lot healthier.”
Holliday, 18, slashed .685/.749/1.392 (89-for-130) with 29 doubles, six triples, 17 home runs, 74 runs scored, 79 RBI, and 30 stolen bases in 40 games during his senior year. He was named the Gatorade Oklahoma Baseball Player of the Year and Baseball America High School Player of the year. His 89 hits set a national high school record for hits in a single season, surpassing the previous record of 88 set by Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto in 2010.
Holliday became the first high schooler taken by the Orioles in the first round since right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez (No. 11 overall) in 2018, and the first high school position player taken by the Orioles in the first round since infielder Ryan Mountcastle (No. 36 overall) in 2015.
“We couldn’t be happier with the player and the person that we’re getting,” said Elias. “Jackson is a five-tool shortstop, left-handed bat. He does it all -- he throws, he’s a plus runner, he’s going to hit and hit for power, and he has the best swing in the draft. He’s got everything in front of him. He’s going to be a big addition to the culture that we’ve built, and our players have built, in the Orioles Minor and Major League system together.”
The O’s made three more picks that evening: Dylan Beavers from the University of California, Berkeley, 33rd overall, Max Wagner from Clemson University (SC), 42nd overall, and Jud Fabian from the University of Florida, 67th overall.
Beavers, 20, slashed .291/.426/.634 (62-for-213) with 16 doubles, three triples, 17 home runs, 62 runs scored, 50 RBI, and seven stolen bases in 56 games for the Golden Bears during his junior season. He was ranked as the No. 22 overall draft prospect by MLB Pipeline and No. 26 by Baseball America.
Wagner, 20, hit .369/.496/.852 (75-for-203) with 15 doubles, one triple, 27 home runs, 66 runs scored, and 76 RBI during his sophomore season. His 27 home runs tied a Clemson single-season record. He was ranked as the No. 66 overall draft prospect by MLB Pipeline and No. 70 by Baseball America.
Fabian, 21, slashed .239/.414/.598 (56-for-234) with 10 doubles, one triple, 24 home runs, 63 runs scored, and 55 RBI in 66 games with the Gators during his redshirt junior season. He was ranked as the No. 52 overall draft prospect by MLB Pipeline and No. 61 by Baseball America.
“[We’re] extremely happy with the guys that we selected tonight,” said Orioles Director of Draft Operations, Brad Ciolek. “We got a guy in Max Wagner with significant raw power to all fields, on-base skills, and the ability to play a solid third base. We also got the two outfielders, Dylan Beavers and Jud Fabian, who possess a unique trait as far as power and speed. We’re really happy about our return this evening.”
The Orioles’ eight day two selections consisted of five right-handed pitchers, one outfielder, one infielder, and a catcher. There was one word Ciolek consistently repeated when describing Baltimore’s day two picks: upside.
The O’s began day two when they selected right-handed pitcher Nolan McLean from Oklahoma State University with the 81st overall pick. McLean, 20, finished his sophomore year with a 2-1 record and a 4.97 ERA (14 ER/25.1 IP), five saves, 39 strikeouts, and 13 walks in 23 relief appearances. A two-way player with the Cowboys, he also slashed .285/.397/.595 (69-for-242) with 16 doubles, one triple, 19 home runs, 55 runs scored, 47 RBI, 37 walks, and two stolen bases. His 19 home runs led the team.
“Nolan’s primary focus with us will be pitching,” said Ciolek. “We think that there is immense upside with him as far as his arsenal is concerned and the ability to stretch him out once he gets acclimated to pro ball. With that said, we are going to give him the opportunity to DH. He does have prodigious raw power, plus raw power to all fields, so we will give him the opportunity to continue hitting.”
The Orioles also selected Wyatt Cheney, a right-handed pitcher from McLennan Community College.
“What we really like about Wyatt is we had the ability to scout him in person, but also we were able to tap into some our analytics as far as Trackman data is concerned,” said Ciolek. “He has a unique fastball profile that we look for, has elite hop on his fastball, and has a pair of breaking balls that play immensely well.”
The Orioles made 10 selections on the final day of the draft. Including seven-foot southpaw, Jared Beck, out of Saint Leo University (FL). If he reached the majors, Beck would become the tallest player in MLB history. The Orioles closed out the draft when they selected Reese Sharp, a right-handed hurler from Indiana University, in the 20th round.
“We’re really excited about the crop that we got today and yesterday,” said Ciolek. “We’re really looking forward to getting them down to Sarasota to work with our player development staff.”
For a full list of the Orioles 2022 Draft Class, see the Orioles Draft Tracker.