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Oklahoma State Baseball

Holliday Signs Baltimore Rookie and H.S. Prospect Record Contract and Picks Up a Bat

July 27, 2022
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What a day for Jackson Holliday! The Stillwater High School graduate and top pick overall in the MLB First-Year Player Draft finished up a whirlwind trip to Baltimore with his contract signing, a brief press conference, and then batting practice and pregame with the Baltimore Orioles prior to their 6:05 p.m. game with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Okay, Holliday, who had his parents former MLB All-Star and one-time National League Championship MVP Matt and his mother Leslee on the front row of the news conference, signed his contract calling for an $8.19 million bonus.

Baltimore Orioles
Holliday signs his $8.19 million contract with the Orioles.

That total is just short of the $8,846,900 value placed on the selection. Holliday leave the Orioles some more money to use to sign players in the draft. No shame though as his contract comes in just above the $8,189,400 that Arizona signed second overall pick Druw Jones for. Jones held the MLB record for highest bonus to a high school draftee for a brief two days. Jones, by the way suffered a shoulder injury in batting practice shortly after signing his contract. Holliday’s bonus also tops former Baltimore top overall pick Adley Rutschman in the 2019 MLB Draft making it a club record for any draftee.

Baltimore Orioles general manager Mark Elias said it was a great investment for a five tool player that has a sweet swing from the left-side of the plate, fields the shortstop position well, throws excellen, has speed, and hits with power. Elias said those kinds of prospects are few and far between and Holliday comes with a solid foundation of his family and the way he was raised. He also comes with an eyes wide open view of professional baseball and what it will take to be successful.

“It's a rare library that the Holliday library gives Jackson, and I can tell you he's read all the books,” his agent Scott Boras said of the advantage Jackson has had growing up with a true professional and standout All-Star Major Leaguer for a father.

Baltimore Orioles
Holliday shakes hands with Baltimore GM Mark Elias.

“This is an exciting and historic moment for this franchise and for Jackson personally,” Elias said. “I couldn't be more confident and more optimistic about the partnership of Jackson Holliday and the Baltimore Orioles.”

Boras and Elias were both at the head table for the press conference with Holliday. Signing a contract for that kind of money would be the highlight of the day for most 18-year-olds, but Holliday said he had no special plans or purchases he was going to make.

“I’ve already got a car, so I really don’t have one,” Holliday answered when asked if there was something he wanted to buy.

Honestly, the highlight of the trip which also included a tour of the sights in Baltimore was being on field at Orioles Park at Camden Yards. Holliday got to take batting practice and infield with the Orioles. He got the feel for what it will someday be like. This was just his second time to the stadium.

Baltimore Orioles
L-R Adley Rutschman, Orioles catcher and 2019 overall top MLB draft pick, Orioles TV commentator and former big leaguer Ben McDonald, and Holliday.

“I was here when my dad played here and I got to shag in the outfield during batting practice,” Holliday said. “This is only the second time that I’ve been here.”

His plan now that he knows he is being sent to extended camp and the Orioles house team at their Sarasota, Fla. complex. He hasn’t played competitively since the end of the high school season, so he is starving to get back on the diamond where he hit.685 with 29 doubles, six triples, 17 home runs and 79 RBIs as a senior for Stillwater High in Oklahoma. He also stole 30 bases and scored 74 runs.

“I want to be up here as fast as possible,” Holliday said. “I would love to come out hot and continue to play well. Hopefully, two years or less would be my goal. I know it's a big goal, but I think I can do it.”

Holliday paid homage to the greatest of all Baltimore shortstops in Cal Ripken Jr. saying it was an honor to play the same position on the same team as Ripken and he hoped he get back and play shortstop in Baltimore for a long time.

Oh, and while signing that contract was a big deal. I guarantee it was not the highlight of his day. That had to be BP and taking some ground balls from the spot of ground he hopes to make his home soon, as soon as two-years if not faster.

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Holliday Signs Baltimore Rookie and H.S. Prospect Record Contract and Picks Up a Bat

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Joe Khatib
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