Orioles INF Jackson Holliday, MLB's top prospect, reassigned to minors

Baltimore Orioles Jackson Holliday (87) swings at a pitch in the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braves in North Port, Fla., Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Baltimore Orioles infielder Jackson Holliday won’t make his major league debut just yet. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Jackson Holliday continues to play the waiting game for his Major League Baseball debut.

On Friday, the Baltimore Orioles reassigned the league’s top prospect back to the minor leagues to begin the season.

It came as somewhat of a surprise for two reasons: The No. 1-overall pick in the 2022 amateur draft is coming off a spring training in which he hit six RBIs and two homers, while going six-for-14, and recorded two steals in the Grapefruit League.

And during his 125-game stay in the minors last season, Holliday ran away with most of the league’s major awards thanks to a .323 batting average, .442 on-base percentage, 12 homers, 75 RBIs and 24 steals. He did so while playing for four different minor league teams in 2023.

When Holliday finally reached Triple-A Norfolk, he helped the Tides win the International League title and the Triple-A National Championship, too. Holliday’s success resulted in Orioles general manager Mike Elias saying there was a strong chance for him to make the 40-man roster during the winter.

“Definitely a very strong possibility,” Elias said during Winter Meetings. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. But he had a historic first full season in the Minors,” Elias said. “Probably you have to go back into like the ‘80s or ‘90s to find something similar to that, in my opinion, for an American kid out of high school.”

Baltimore played Holliday at both shortstop and second base during spring training, after he spent 112 games at shortstop, 25 at second and two at third base in the minor leagues in 2023.

For now, the Orioles are expected to utilize players such as veterans Ramon Urias and Jorge Mateo and young players like Gunnar Henderson, the reigning Rookie of the Year, and Jordan Westburg to stabilize the infield.

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