These are high times for the Baltimore Orioles. The team enters Monday riding a six-game winning streak that has them second in the AL East, in large part thanks to a former No. 1 overall pick turned MVP candidate and the arrival of one of the best pitching prospects in baseball.
But that’s just the beginning of Baltimore’s youth movement. Colton Cowser, Jordan Westburg and Connor Norby — all top-100 prospects (and great stashes for your fantasy baseball team) in their own right — continue to rake down in Triple-A. And the guy who could be the brightest star of all seems to be hot on their heels:
The Orioles are promoting Jackson Holliday, the No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft, to High-A after he destroyed Low-A in 13 games: .392/.523/.667 with nine extra-base hits in 51 at-bats and a 14-to-12 walk-to-strikeout ratio. Only one error in 117 innings at 2B and SS. Absolute star.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 24, 2023
Jackson Holliday, the top overall pick in last year’s MLB Draft and the son of former slugger Matt Holliday (yes, we are all that old), spent two weeks toying with Low-A pitchers and is now on his way to High-A Aberdeen. And despite the fact that he was in high school at this time last year and won’t even turn 20 until December, that may not be the last promotion he sees this season.
You could make an argument that Holliday is the best Minor Leaguer in baseball at this point, or at least the most complete. The Stillwater, Oklahoma native has that rarest of combinations: Elite physical tools — the kind required to handle shortstop in the Majors — with a patient approach at the plate that’s well beyond his years. Holliday walked more than he struck out as an 18-year-old making his pro debut last year, and he’s carried that over into 2023. He refuses to expand the zone and is comfortable hitting with two strikes, but also has the skill and strength to punish mistakes early in the count.
This is not a replay.— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 22, 2023
Jackson Holliday goes deep again, giving him his first multihomer game as a pro! pic.twitter.com/4QcSV1KrDr
If you’re wondering where the weak spot is, well, so are most scouts — there’s a reason a teenager is already a consensus top-10 prospect. The big-league club is probably out of reach for him this season — especially with two other very good middle-infield prospects in Westburg and Norby waiting to get the call to Baltimore — but if he keeps this up, he has a real chance to enter next spring competing for a spot on the Opening Day roster.
He’s probably long gone in most if not all dynasty leagues, but if your league has a few keeper slots and Holliday happens to still be available, you may want to think about changing that very soon.