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Orioles call up MLB’s No. 1 prospect for major-league debut

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Orioles call up MLB’s No. 1 prospect for major-league debut


The Baltimore Orioles are calling up shortstop and top overall prospect Jackson Holliday, the team announced Wednesday. He’s playing second and batting ninth against the Red Sox. Holliday will wear No. 7, the same number worn by his father, Matt Holliday, for his most of his major-league career.

Holliday, 20, for much of the spring seem poised to crack the Opening Day roster. However, the Orioles, despite Holliday’s stellar performance in Grapefruit League play, dispatched him to Triple-A to start the 2024 season. Coming into Tuesday’s slate, Holliday in nine games at Norfolk had a slash line of .342/.490/.605 with two home runs, four doubles, and a stolen base.�

Coming into this season, CBS Sports ranked Holliday as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball. Here’s part of R.J. Anderson’s write-up:�

Holliday should not be able to exceed expectations. He was the No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft, and his father Matt was a seven-time All-Star. He should be burdened with unobtainable forecasts. Yet Holliday has consistently bested the best-case scenario since his high school senior year. In his first full professional season, he blazed through three levels, closing out with an 18-game stint in Triple-A. There, he batted .267/.396/.400 with a 90 mph average exit velocity. He was 19 years old. All of Holliday’s indicators, statistical and otherwise, are neon green. He has every tool and intangible necessary to become a star, even if he might require some time to upscale his power from the “gap” to the “over-the-fence” variety. (He needs to add more muscle and loft.) Given his demonstrated ability to overachieve, it would be foolish to bet against him making an impact at the big-league level in 2024. There is, in our estimation, simply no better prospect in the minor leagues.

Across parts of three minor-league seasons after being drafted out of Stillwater High School in Oklahoma, Holliday has slashed .321/.452/.497 with 15 homers, 39 doubles, nine triples, and 29 stolen bases in 154 games. Holliday has authored those numbers while primarily manning the premium position of shortstop and while being much younger than his peer group at every stop. A spring training in which he put up an OPS of .954 followed by his hot start at Triple-A — all of it backed by the highest ceiling among position prospects — was too much for the Orioles to ignore.�

Holliday’s near-term role with Baltimore hasn’t yet been established, but the presence of Gunnar Henderson — himself a deeply promising young infielder — at shortstop may mean Holliday lands at second or third base for the time being. The Orioles have been running with Jordan Westburg at second and Ramón Urías at third for most of the season so far, with Ryan Mountcastle rounding out the infield. Whatever the specifics of his role, his bat and speed on the bases will surely aid an Orioles squad that has legitimate designs on the World Series.�

Holliday joins a team that’s coming off a 101-win season and an AL East title in 2023. This season, Baltimore is off to a 6-4 start.�

In a corresponding move, Tony Kemp was designated for assignment.



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