The Jackson Era: Led By Holliday And Chourio, The ‘Jacksons’ Are Set To Take Over Baseball


Image credit: Jackson Holliday (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)

On our new Top 100 Prospects list, our No. 1 prospect is Jackson Holliday. Our No. 2 prospect is Jackson Chourio

This is the first time in Top 100 history that the No. 1 and No. 2 prospects have had the same first name. The closest we had come in the past is Mark Prior, who was the No. 2 prospect in 2002. A year later, Mark Teixeira ranked No. 1, but by then, Prior was in the majors.

This also means Jackson is now tied for the most popular name at the top of the Top 100. In just one year, the two Jacksons in the top two ties the name with Alex (Rodriguez and Gordon), Ben (Grieve and McDonald), Corey (Patterson and Seager), Mark (Prior and Teixeira), Matt (Wieters and Moore) and Paul (Wilson and Konerko).

2024 Top 100 Prospects

See the full Top 100 entering the 2024 season headlined by Orioles SS Jackson Holliday.

But it’s part of a bigger trend. The Jacksons are coming to take over baseball.

There are two other Jacksons (Jobe and Merrill) on the Top 100. Among Top 30 prospects, there are other Jacksons—another Oriole (Jackson Baumeister), a Cub (Jackson Ferris), a Guardian (Jackson Humphries), a Rockie (Jackson Cox), a Pirate (Jackson Wolf) and a National (Jackson Rutledge).

Of the 900 prospects we ranked on team Top 30 Prospects lists, a full 10 (1.1%) are Jacksons. There’s also a Jaxon (Cubs RHP Jaxon Wiggins), who’s a Jackson of sorts.

Jackson is now tied with Luis and Michael for the most popular name in the 2024 Prospect Handbook. It trails only Jacob (14 players), Jose (11) and Ryan (11).

It’s the Jackson era, which is remarkable because until very recently, Jackson was not a name ever seen in the major leagues.

There have been 62 MLB players with the last name of Jackson to play in the major leagues, including Hall of Famers (Reggie and Travis) and two-sport stars (Bo). There’s even been a Jack Jackson.

But Mets/Blue Jays righthander Jackson Todd was the first player to go by Jackson to reach the major leagues when he made his debut in 1977. Before that there were three Jacksons who played in the majors, but all three went by other names (including standout late 1920s/early 1930s Cubs outfielder Riggs Stephenson).

After Todd, there wasn’t another player who went by Jackson who reached the majors until righthander Jackson Stephens debuted in 2017. But he seemed to open the door for many to follow. Royals righthander Jackson Kowar arrived in 2021. Nationals righthander Jackson Tetrault joined them in 2022. And 2023 saw Rutledge and Wolf join them.

So from the beginning of Major League Baseball to 2016, there was one player who went by Jackson who played in the major leagues. Last year, there were four. This year we’ll likely see Jackson Holliday, Jackson Chourio, Jackson Jobe and Jackson Merrill double the number of big league Jacksons, and Jackson Ferris, Jackson Humphries, Jackson Baumeister and Jackson Cox could further push the big league Jackson takeover.

There are multiple Jacksons who could crack our 2024 BA 500 Draft Prospects list as well, led by recently reclassified Florida prep outfielder Jackson Miller.

We may never have another 1-2 of Jacksons. But Jackson was the 14th most popular name for baby boys in the United States in 2021 according to the Social Security Administration. It didn’t even crack the Top 100 until 1998 and first cracked the Top 25 in 2010. So we may see a whole lot more Jacksons in baseball over the next couple decades.

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