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Happenings from the first round of the 2022 MLB Draft

Sunday night marked the first round of the 2022 MLB Draft. What were the interesting storylines?

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Jackson Holliday is announced as the first pick of the 2022 MLB baseball draft, by the Baltimore Orioles, Sunday, July 17, 2022, in Los Angeles.

Abbie Parr, AP

Sunday night marked the beginning of the 2022 MLB draft — the draft will conclude Tuesday after a total of 20 rounds over three days — and while the players selected likely won’t make any impact on Major League Baseball for at least a few years, they provided plenty of interesting stories with their selections.

Here are some of the highlights.

  • With the first overall pick in the draft, the Baltimore Orioles selected shortstop Jackson Holliday out of Stillwater High School in Oklahoma. The son of 7-time MLB All-Star Matt Holliday, Jackson Holliday became only the second son of a former MLB player to be selected No. 1 overall. The first? Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr in 1987, per ESPN Stats and Info.

  • Another former All-Star’s son was selected second overall. Druw Jones, the son of five-time MLB All-Star Andruw Jones, was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of Wesleyan High School in Georgia. A center fielder like his father, Jones was the top-rated overall prospect in the draft, according to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel.

  • History was made after the Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals selected Kumar Rocker, Termarr Johnson and Elijah Green, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. Per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, their selections, combined with that of Jones at No. 2, meant that for the first time in MLB history, four of the top five draft picks were Black. All four players played in MLB’s DREAM Series, a “showcase event focused on the dynamics of pitching and catching for a diverse group of high school elite athletes, predominantly African-American.”

  • After selecting Vanderbilt pitcher Jack Leiter No. 2 overall in the 2021 draft and Rocker No. 3 this year, the Rangers made it back-to-back years selecting former Commodore pitchers. Rocker was taken No. 10 overall by the New York Mets in 2021 but went unsigned and then played for Tri-City (New York) of the independent Frontier League last season. With the selection of Leiter and Rocker, the Rangers now have two pitchers who were Golden Spikes Award Finalists in 2021 and who shared the Division-I lead with 179 strikeouts that year, per ESPN Stats and Info.

  • After Justin Crawford was taken No. 17 overall by the Philadelphia Phillies and Cam Collier was selected at No. 18 by the Cincinnati Reds, four sons of former MLB players were off the board in the first round, the first time that has ever happened in draft history. Justin Crawford is the son of 4-time All-Star Carl Crawford, while Cam Collier is the son of Lou Collier, an eight-year pro who played for the Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers, Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox and Phillies.

  • Eight of the top 20 picks were used on high schoolers, including the No. 1, No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5 picks. Those included, Holliday, Jones, Johnson, and Green, as well as Jett Williams (No. 14 to the New York Mets), Dylan Lesko (No. 15 to the San Diego Padres), Crawford, and Owen Murphy (No. 20 to the Atlanta Braves.

  • With the No. 10 overall pick, the Colorado Rockies selected Gonzaga pitcher Gabriel Hughes. The first WCC selection of the draft, Hughes is the Bulldogs’ first first-round pick since the St. Louis Cardinals selected Marco Gonzales with the No. 19 pick in the 2013 MLB Draft.

  • Excluding Kumar Rocker, who last played college baseball in 2021, the first player selected from the NCAA ranks was LSU outfielder Jacob Berry, selected No. 6 overall by the Miami Marlins. He started a run on college players, with the next six selections all coming from the NCAA ranks. The conference best represented was the ACC, as Virginia Tech outfielder Gavin Cross (No. 9 to the Kansas City Royals) and Georgia Tech catcher Kevin Parada (No. 11 to the New York Mets) were top-11 picks.

  • The first selection of a Pac-12 player came at No. 19, when the Oakland Athletics took Arizona catcher Daniel Susac. The younger brother of six-year MLB pro Andrew Susac, a former second-round pick of the San Francisco Giants, Daniel Susac was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2021.