Draft Prospect Watch: Holliday on the Rise to the Top

Even though we are still 11 weeks off from the 2022 MLB draft taking place, this has been a busy week for draft news. On Wednesday we looked at two new updated rankings. On Thursday we posted about a mock draft. On Friday, it was a combo of a mock draft and updated rankings. We recently started our Draft Prospect Watch articles, where we look at a new player each Sunday. Our first choice was Druw Jones. Then last Sunday we looked at Elijah Green. Today we go with a player who has made a lot of movement recently. He’s someone who I wouldn’t have put on my list of players to feature in this series just a few months ago, but now there’s a good chance he isn’t around when the Pittsburgh Pirates make the fourth overall pick in the draft.

Jackson Holliday is an 18-year-old high school shortstop from Oklahoma, with a commitment to Oklahoma State. He’s a left-handed hitter. He’s the son of long-time Major League player Matt Holliday, a seven-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger winner. The younger Holliday is starting to make a name for himself. He stands 5’11”, 176 pounds (listed slightly taller/heavier in other spots), and he’s described as a toolsy shortstop who is now clicking at the plate. Baseball America notes in their scouting that he tried to tap into more power last year and it led to some swing-and-miss in his game. Before that he was known as a smart hitter, with great contact skills, who used the entire field. He’s also solid defensively at shortstop and he’s an above average runner.

MLB Pipeline rates him above average in all five tools, with 55 grades in power, arm and fielding, and 60 grades in hitting and running. Others have described him as a plus-plus runner now, so that 60 might be low. Pipeline likes his advanced approach at the plate and the ability to barrel balls. They also noted that his swing got longer last year which led to mediocre results, but he’s been putting on power displays this year as he continues to get stronger (see videos below). Pipeline notes that he’s added both speed and arm strength this year, and his stock has gone up as it seems more certain that he will stick at shortstop in the future.

Kiley McDaniel of ESPN notes that he had Holliday ranked around 30th coming into this year, but since then scouts have pushed him up to a top ten guy not long ago, then boosted him even more recently, saying he’s a top five player in this class. McDaniel rated him third in the class as one of only four players he gave a 55 or better Future Value grade.

Holliday is an impressive combo of tools, who quickly tapped into power without sacrificing on base skills. He has plenty of value outside of his bat, with strong base running skills and speed, and the ability/tools to play shortstop at the highest level.

Here’s some videos. Most of the available footage was from before he took his big step forward, so remember that while watching this clip. Here’s batting practice and a lot of game video from last year.

Here are some dingers from this year in a series of tweets

#2

#3 from Kiley McDaniel has a little more than just a homer

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