Jackson Holliday out to make Orioles’ 2024 opening day roster after year of awards: ‘That’s the goal’

The accolades preserve coming in for Jackson Holliday. This one is way from a shock.

Holliday, the No. 1 prospect in baseball, was named the Orioles’ Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year, the membership introduced Saturday.

In his first full skilled season, the 19-year-old shortstop grew to become the game’s finest prospect, rose from Low-A Delmarva to Triple-A Norfolk in historic vogue, performed within the MLB All-Star Futures Game and was named Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year.

Now, he’s obtained his sights set on Baltimore.

“That’s the goal,” Holliday stated when requested if he believes he could make the Orioles’ 2024 opening day roster. “If that doesn’t happen, then whatever is the plan, I’ll be ready for it. Hopefully that’s the goal. We’ll see, though.”

Holliday stated it’s “an honor” to win an award named after Robinson, the legendary third baseman who died earlier this week.

“He had quite an unbelievable career,” Holliday stated. “If I have half the career he had, it would be a success. It’s unbelievable to look back on all the things that he accomplished, and to be able to share that award with him is quite an honor.”

Also part of the Orioles’ 2023 minor league award winners, the membership named right-hander Chayce McDermott the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Norfolk supervisor Buck Britton because the winner of the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award and Dave Jennings the Jim Russo Scout of the Year.

The 2022 No. 1 total decide hit .323 with a formidable .941 OPS between the 4 ranges. He tallied 30 doubles, 9 triples, 12 homers, 75 RBIs, 24 stolen bases and 101 walks towards 118 strikeouts.

He adopted within the footsteps of Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson as Baseball America’s No. 1 total prospects. Those two younger stars helped lead the Orioles to an American League East title and the membership’s finest common season in 40 years. Holliday might be a part of them at simply 20 years outdated in 2024.

“It’s kind of been incredible how he’s progressed this season, even from spring training to the player that he is now,” Triple-A supervisor Buck Britton stated. “To be 19 years outdated, one yr faraway from highschool, to be enjoying up towards a number of the finest expertise in all of minor league baseball — and with the ability to not solely play, however compete — it is a child who’s going to be an affect huge leaguer for a very long time — for a very long time.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing him continue to grow. The skill set jumps off the charts, the makeup, what a kid. And this kid’s determined, man. He’s determined to be in the big leagues yesterday.”

Holliday spent the primary month of spring coaching with the Orioles — an expertise he stated was “unbelievable” and set him up for the success he had this yr. He went into the yr with the objective of reaching Double-A, an ascent that might have been spectacular sufficient.

He hit .396 with a 1.183 OPS in 14 video games in Low-A to earn his promotion to High-A in late April. Aberdeen is a spot many Orioles prospects have struggled given the bounce from Low- to High-A is maybe essentially the most tough within the minors. But, as he has with all the pieces else this season, Holliday dealt with the brand new task gracefully, hitting .314 with a .940 OPS in 57 video games — essentially the most he performed at any stage this season — to earn his Double-A promotion in July.

He began off his 36-game stint with the Baysox sizzling, however he went by a quick hunch in August. Once he broke out of it, the group seen him as prepared for a visit to the ultimate minor league vacation spot after he posted a .338 common and .507 slugging share in Double-A. In 18 video games to finish the season, Holliday hit .267 with a .796 OPS with the Tides.

“This year’s gone about as well as I can possibly imagine,” he stated. “My goal was Double-A, and to be able to make it to Triple-A is quite something. I don’t know. It’s been quite a year, and I’m very happy with how everything went down.”

When he made it to Triple-A, he joined an unique record of youngsters to take action. Before they grew to become stars within the huge leagues, Bryce Harper, Ronald Acuña Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Ozzie Albies have been amongst a shortlist of prospects since 2006 to play a minimum of per week’s price of video games by their age-19 season.

“I think the thing that impressed me the most is his composure,” stated Tyler Wells, an Orioles pitcher who was in Norfolk for many of Holliday’s time with the Tides. “I think that he doesn’t ever get too high or get too low. For being 19 years old, I definitely think that he carries himself well. I think a lot of that probably comes from his dad. I think that meeting his dad and kind of understanding a little bit of how he is, you can see a lot of that in Jackson. I think Jackson’s just really good at keeping a level head.”

When he reached Double-A, he stated he “wouldn’t put it past myself” to achieve the most important leagues in 2023. That confidence he displayed in mid-July confirmed once more Saturday when he stated “not one time this year” did he really feel overwhelmed.

“Everywhere that I’ve gone I felt really comfortable, like I belong there,” he stated.

Holliday, in fact, wasn’t the one prospect to have a standout season. He headlines what Baseball America ranks as the highest farm system within the sport, however pitchers like McDermott, whose inventory has risen this yr, are a significant cause why the Orioles may very well be arrange for extra seasons like 2023.

Ranked because the membership’s third-best pitching prospect at No. 13 within the Orioles’ system, in response to Baseball America, McDermott is one in all a number of up-and-coming arms Baltimore obtained finally yr’s commerce deadline. In addition to getting All-Star Yennier Cano and prospect Cade Povich within the Jorge López commerce with the Minnesota Twins, the Orioles acquired McDermott and Seth Johnson within the Trey Mancini deal.

“I think people overlook sometimes that getting traded is very hard,” McDermott stated. “You get used to a company, and you must decide up and transfer and meet new folks, new coaches, all that sort of stuff. I really feel prefer it was a brilliant clean transition, it was tremendous simple, cherished everybody within the Orioles group and so they’ve been tremendous useful to my profession.

“Now it just feels like I’m part of the family.”

McDermott, 25, opened the yr with Double-A Bowie, pitching nicely with a 3.56 ERA. But he soared as soon as he was promoted to Norfolk, pitching maybe the very best he has in his skilled profession. The 6-foot-3 right-hander posted a 2.49 ERA in 50 2/3 frames with the Tides, permitting only a .156 batting common towards and 4.8 hits per 9 innings.

Like Holliday, McDermott hopes his 2024 will embrace a spot on Baltimore’s roster.

“Next year the goal is to be in the big leagues, for sure,” he stated, including he believes he’s not “that far” away from attaining that.

McDermott, Holliday, Britton and Jennings have been acknowledged at Camden Yards earlier than Saturday’s recreation towards the Boston Red Sox, though the 2 prospects and Norfolk’s skipper weren’t in attendance as a result of they’re in Las Vegas for the Triple-A Championship Game.

After dropping Game 1 of the International League Championship Series to the Durham Bulls, Tampa Bay’s high affiliate, on Tuesday, Norfolk got here again to win Games 2 and three, together with a 7-0 victory Thursday that overlapped with the Orioles’ AL East-clinching win. The IL title is the primary for Baltimore’s Triple-A membership for the reason that Rochester Red Wings did so in 1997. The Tides, bolstered by a roster that features 9 of the Orioles’ high 14 prospects, will play the Oklahoma City Dodgers, a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate, in a winner-take-all recreation for the title Saturday evening.

Also this week, three gamers along with Holliday have been acknowledged by Baseball America for his or her stellar seasons. With Holliday because the publication’s first-team shortstop, Double-A Bowie catcher Samuel Basallo, who excelled in his age-18 season, and Baltimore outfielder Heston Kjerstad made the record. Third baseman Coby Mayo, whose .974 OPS led the Orioles’ farm system, was a second-team choice.