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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Baseball’s Number One Prospect, Jackson Holliday, Has Been Sent Down to Triple-A

Joshua Glatman

On April 10, the Orioles grabbed headlines when they called up the MLB’s number one prospect, 20 year-old Jackson Holliday. But Holliday is being sent back down to the minor leagues after a rocky start to his MLB career. 

The young shortstop was the number one overall pick in the 2022 MLB draft. He had just won Gatorade State Player of the Year for Oklahoma and had a batting average of almost 0.700. He signed for the Orioles with an $8.19 million signing bonus, the largest ever for a high schooler. He got some at-bats for the Orioles during spring training but began the year with the team’s Triple-A affiliate, the Norfolk Tide. Holliday hit 0.333/0.482/0.595 with five doubles, two homers, and nine RBIs in 10 games at Triple-A this year before he was called up.

Holliday carried a lot of hype but Orioles fans were surprised by how soon he was called up. Andrew Ciofolo, a Baltimore native and a lifelong Orioles fan, is only a few months older than Jackson Holliday. Ciofolo is an anchor and writer for the Evergreen Echo’s sports section and has followed Holliday’s career since he was drafted in 2022, 

“It’s weird, I feel like he was called up too early to begin with and probably needed a month or two still in AAA this year.”

Holliday made his debut against the Red Sox on April 10 at Fenway Park. He stepped up to the plate four times in his debut. While he did not have any hits, he did manage to drive in a run. The next night he managed to reach base twice, once on a fielder’s choice and an error, scoring both times. But as the team traveled back to Baltimore, Holliday was still hitless. On April 12, Holliday made his home debut against the Brewers. Orioles fans and Loyola students crammed into Camden Yards expecting a lot from the 20 year-old. 

Sean Sullivan ‘25 said, “ I went to his first home game because I wanted to catch his first home run. Even Zach Hample was there but he struck out every time he got to the plate.”

Holliday’s first hit came on the fourteenth when a hard-hit ground ball found its way between the first and second basemen of the Brewers. He then went hitless for over a week, only reaching base twice during two series against the Twins and Royals. In his last game in the majors, he got his second hit against the Angels before he was sent back down to AAA. Kyle Hoog, a center fielder for UMass Amherst knows how hard switching teams can be.

“It takes a while to settle in once you’re on a new team. You have to try and prove yourself to the coaches and your teammates, it’s a ton of pressure for a kid to be under,” Hoog said.

Just how bad was Holliday’s start and what might it mean for his career? Orioles fans likely shouldn’t worry. In only 10 games, Holliday got two hits in the majors. When Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. was called up towards the end of the 1981 season, he had five hits while playing in 23 games. Even Willie Mays, one of the greatest hitters of all time got off to a similar start to his career. In 1951, when Mays debuted for the Giants, he started his career with only one hit in his first 26 at-bats. If history is any indication, Holliday’s bad start shouldn’t be a setback.

 The young middle infielder has serious talent in the field and at the plate, his maturity and composure will come with time.

“I feel like getting sent down now is wrong just because I think he was starting to get hard contact lately and starting to figure it out. He just needs more major league at-bats, but the kids gonna be fine,” Ciofolo said.

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