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Best Pure Hitter: In the last four years picking among the top five in the draft, the Orioles have exclusively taken hitters. SS Jackson Holliday (1) was the first high school hitter of the group in 2022, and ranked as the fourth-best pure hitter in the prep class, with a chance for 60-grade hitting ability. Holliday showed excellent contact (13.6% miss rate) and swing decisions (12% chase rate) in his pro debut, while slashing .297/.489/.422 with a 163 WRC+ between the Florida Complex and Carolina leagues. His 89.6 mph average exit velocity is also nothing to scoff at for an 18-year-old with tons of physical projection remaining.
Best Power Hitter: After drafting Holliday (1), the Orioles took a trio of college sluggers and each of OF Dylan Beavers (1s), 3B Max Wagner (2) and OF Jud Fabian (2s) have a case for this category. All three had 90th percentile exit velocities in the 101-102 mph range in their pro debuts, and each had plus raw power grades on their amateur scouting reports, with either 55 or 60 grades on their in-game future power.
Fastest Runner: OF Douglas Hodo (6) is a plus runner who should be a no-doubt center fielder in pro ball, thanks to solid athleticism and smooth, long strides that allow him to cover plenty of ground.
Best Defensive Player: There are a number of strong candidates for this category, including the previously mentioned Hodo (6). But Baltimore selected three players who ranked among the top five college players as the best defenders at their respective positions in the 2022 class: Fabian ranked first as the best defensive outfielder and has consistently played a great center field; C Silas Ardoin (4) ranked second as the best defensive catcher and threw out 42% of basestealers with Texas; and SS Carter Young (17) ranked fourth as the best defensive infielder with great footwork and hands up the middle.
Best Fastball: RHP Trace Bright (5) touched 96-97 mph with Auburn during the spring and sat around 93 mph in his pro debut, with excellent vertical riding life. Baltimore clearly values induced vertical break, as Bright and other pitchers like RHP Reese Sharp (20), RHP Graham Firoved (16) and LHP Jared Beck (13) all had more than 19 inches of IVB on their fastballs in their 2022 pro debuts.
Best Secondary Pitch: Bright’s (5) slider is one of the more advanced and consistent breaking balls of Baltimore’s 2022 pitching class. It…