MLB Draft: Sons of former Major League All-Stars are 1-2
LOS ANGELES — Jackson Holliday and Druw Jones, sons of former Major League All-Stars Matt and Andruw, were picked up by Baltimore and Arizona with the top two picks in baseball’s amateur draft on Sunday night.
Holliday, whose father is former batting champion Matt Holliday, was picked first by Baltimore over Jones in something of a surprise.
Texas used the third pick on Kumar Rocker, a big right-hander who failed to sign with the New York Mets after being selected 10th overall last year. Rocker will reunite with Rangers minor league pitcher Jack Leiter, his teammate on Vanderbilt’s 2019 NCAA Baseball Championship first team. Texas picked Leiter with the No. 2 pick last year.
Holliday, a left-handed shortstop from Stillwater High, Oklahoma, is 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds. He hit .685 and with 89 hits in 41 games and broke a national hitting record in a high school season that had been held by JT Realmuto.
His father was a seven-time All-Star and the 2007 NL batting champion. Matt was picked by Colorado with the 210th pick in the seventh round in 2007.
Jackson said he plans to attend Oklahoma State, but is likely heading to pro ball now. The slot value assigned to the top pick is just under $9 million.
Jones is an 18-year-old 6-foot-3 player from Wesleyan High in Peachtree Corners, Georgia. He’s hit .570 with 13 homers, 39 RBIs, 72 runs, 33 walks and 32 stolen bases this year. He also went 10-1 as a pitcher, although he was thrown as an outfielder.
His father, a five-time All-Star and 10-time Golden Glove winner, was born in Curacao and signed with Atlanta as an international free agent.
Rocker, a 22-year-old Georgian, didn’t sign last year after the Mets raised concerns about his physique. He underwent shoulder surgery last September and pitched this year for independent league Tri-City ValleyCats as a showcase ahead of the draft.
Baltimore has five of the top 81 picks as the big league team appears to be taking a turn. The Orioles rallied from an 8-16 start to enter the All-Star Break at 46-46, just 3½ games away from a wildcard spot.
Unlike other sports, baseball draft picks take time to reach the majors. Wide receiver Adley Rutschman, picked by the Orioles with the first overall pick three years ago, made his debut this May 21 and is hitting .222 with five home runs and 16 RBIs.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Chase Silseth was the first of last year’s selections to reach the majors. Taken on the 11th lap and 321st overall, he made his debut on May 13.
The first pick is assigned a slot value of $8,846,900, followed by $8,189,400 for second, $7,591,600 for third, $7,005,800 for fourth, and $6,497,700 for fifth. The value decreases to $2,486,800 at pick 30 and $807,200 at #80.
Baltimore has the highest signing bonus pool at $16.9 million, followed by Arizona at $15.1 million and the Mets at just under $14 million. The Dodgers have the lowest at $4.2 million.
The top 80 picks were slated for Sunday, when the draft took place away for the first time at LA Live, its second year running concurrently with the All-Star Game. The draft resumes with the start of the third round on Monday and a total of 616 players are to be selected.
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ first pick dropped 10 spots to 40th for exceeding a luxury tax threshold, and the Mets got an additional first-round pick (No. 11) for not signing Rocker, the 10th pick altogether last year.
Colorado got an additional pick (No. 31) for Trevor Story’s loss to Boston as a free agent and Cincinnati (No. 32) for Nick Castellanos’ loss to Philadelphia. The Red Sox and Phillies lost their second-round picks and $500,000 each from their international signing bonus pools.
Residents of the United States – including Puerto Rico – and Canada are eligible for the draft if their high school class has graduated and the player will be at least 17 years old within 45 days of the end of the draft. Additionally, a player enrolled in a four-year college is not eligible until the end of his junior year.
MLB hopes to launch an international draft, and the March lockout settlement with the players’ association set a July 25 deadline to reach an agreement or retain direct draft compensation for the loss of free agents. qualified.
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