June 16, 2024

Orioles Prospect Jackson Holliday Is Excited For Opening Day

Orioles fans filled Camden Yards with optimism this weekend. They left  disappointed, clinging to hope. – Baltimore Sun

Less than two years ago, the Baltimore Orioles selected Jackson Holliday, the son of seven-time All-Star Matt Holliday, as the first overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. Now, the 20-year-old phenom can make the Orioles’ Opening Day roster. Holliday through the Orioles minor league system last season, making it all the way to Triple-A Norfolk. In 18 games with Nofolk, he hit .267 with two home runs and nine RBI. He was also a key component in Triple-A Norfolk’s march to the National Championship win, the team’s first since 1983.

Jackson Holliday Has Every Chance to Shine

Holliday is in Sarasota with the Orioles for spring training. Unlike last spring, Holliday has a good chance of making the big league roster out of camp, something he is excited about this year. When asked about making the Opening Day roster out of Spring Training, Holliday said it makes it more exciting.

“You get a chance to make the team. But I’m just trying to take it day by day and enjoy these guys and enjoy getting better.”

Holliday was invited to Spring Training by the Orioles last season but was re-assigned to minor league camp after 14 games. Despite having every opportunity to make the team, the Orioles are not giving away roster spots. He knows that his performance matters and that he could play off the Orioles roster like Grayson Rodriguez did last spring.

“I’m just trying to get better everyday,” Holliday said. “I’m not trying to do anything crazy, just play my game. The advice I’ve gotten is to continue playing the game that I love and not change too much.”

Holliday has spent most of his career at shortstop but will get extra work at second base during camp. He made 25 starts at the keystone compared to 110 at shortstop. With Gunnar Henderson at shortstop, Holliday would serve as his double-play partner when they are both in the lineup.

“The plan is to be able to play second base and shortstop at a high level, so just making sure I’m ready at second base,” Holliday said. “Just learning bits and pieces and trying to put them together, trying to stay athletic with it. I think it’s a position that you just have to be athletic with and just play the game, and it will come naturally.”

Orioles general manager Mike Elias said that Jackson Holliday making the Opening Day roster is “definitely a very strong possibility.”

So, is Jackson Holliday ready for the big leagues? “Yeah absolutely. I’m as ready as I can be, I think. I’m excited.”

The Orioles position players begin their spring workouts this week. Their first spring training game is on February 24 against the Boston Red Sox. Opening Day for the Orioles is March 28.

Jackson Holliday on making Orioles opening day roster: 'That's my goal' |  WBAL Baltimore News

Making an Impact So Fast

In his first full minor league season, Holliday climbed from Low-A to Triple-A, hitting .323 with a .442 on-base percentage and a .941 OPS. Holliday played with so much upside that the Orioles almost considered him for the postseason roster just shy of his 20th birthday. He would be 20 years and 87 days old on the Orioles opener. The most recent youngest Oriole to make his debut at 20? Manny Machado. He played 219 minor league games while skipping Triple-A to make his debut at 20 years and 34 days back in August 2012.

 

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