Expectations were already high for Jackson Holliday when the Orioles selected him first overall in the 2022 MLB Draft. It’s safe to say at this point he’s exceeded even the loftiest of expectations.
A first overall pick is never guaranteed to be successful in the minors. Especially when coming from the high school ranks, there is often an adjustment period that requires players getting acclimated to professional baseball.
But Holliday, from his first taste of the pros, has crushed pitching at each level. He’s walking at incredible rates, hitting for power, stealing bases and posting absurd slash-line statistics. The production has led to him rising from the complex league after the 2022 draft all the way up to Triple-A late in 2023, as he remains one of the best hitters despite being only 19 years old.
Baltimore has a slight lead in the AL East, and though the team is loaded with standout infield players, it could always look to keep the pedal on the gas.
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Holliday is universally regarded as the No. 1 prospect in the sport, and if he were promoted any point during the rest of the season, he would still retain rookie eligibility for 2024, meaning he could still qualify for AL Rookie of the Year and give the Orioles an incentive pick if he wins the award after beginning the season on the Opening Day roster.
Will the Orioles call him up, and if so, when will they do it? Here’s what you need to know.
When will the Orioles call up Jackson Holliday?
Baltimore hasn’t been hesitant to aggressively promote prospects in the past. And per the New York Post’s Jon Heyman, they might consider another such promotion in 2023. Heyman reported the Orioles have not ruled out promoting Holliday before the end of the year to join the team during the stretch playoff run.
Rosters expanded to 28 players on Sept. 1, which gives the team room to add Holliday without demoting anyone. He was recently moved up to Triple-A after spending over a month dominating at the Double-A level.
The Orioles have not hesitated in the past to promote prospects to the big leagues aggressively. Back in 2012, Baltimore promoted its top two prospects to the majors at the age of 19: Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy. Austin Hays was called up in 2017 after only 283 plate appearances in Double-A, a year after he was drafted, at just 21 years old. Last year, Gunnar Henderson began the year at Double-A and ended the season in the big leagues.
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Baltimore does not necessarily need the infield help, with Henderson at third and shortstop, Jordan Westburg at third and second and Ryan Mountcastle and Ryan O’Hearn at first. But the Orioles are looking to make their first playoff appearance since 2016, and any additional support could help improve their chances of securing the top seed in the American League.
Jackson Holliday scouting report
Holliday has rapidly ascended from the No. 1 pick to the No. 1 prospect in the sport. Scouts praise his left-handed swing as possessing perhaps the best hit tool in the minors with above-average power in his swing. His awareness of the strike zone and ability to wait for his pitch enhances his skill-set and allows him to maximize his power, and hit with authority.
Jackson Holliday triples…for his 5th hit of the night…in the 7th inning. pic.twitter.com/8H3bfzD0BS
— Orioles Player Development (@OsPlayerDev) August 12, 2023
On top of his bat, Holliday has plenty of speed and can be a base-stealing threat. That speed also assists him defensively, where he is regarded as an above-average defender at shortstop with a strong arm.
Plenty of players are balanced with the ability to be average or better at all five tools, but Holliday has the chance to put all his tools together at a high level and be one of the league’s premier talents.
Jackson Holliday stats