The Real Deal
PHOTO CREDIT: NATHAN RAY SEEBECK-USA TODAY SPORTS

The Real Deal

Jackson Holiday Continues To Impress

As the son of seven-time All-Star Matt Holiday, Jackson Holiday already carries high expectations. But, he is taking these sky-high expectations to the next level. Coming out of high school, Jackson Holiday wasn’t expected to be a high first-round pick. After a great senior year, Holiday ended up going to the Baltimore Orioles as the 1st pick of the 2022 draft and also set a prep player record by receiving an $8.19 million bonus. 

 

In his senior year at Stillwater High School, Jackson Holiday finished the season batting .685 with 17 home runs, 79 RBIs, 29 doubles, and 30 stolen bases over 40 games. Just like his father, he was named the Oklahoma Gatorade Baseball Player of The Year after setting the national record for hits in a season by an amateur player with 89 hits. 

 

Holiday played across all four levels in the minors last season, and ended the season with a .941 OPS and a .320 batting average with a .449 on-base percentage. On top of these elite numbers, Jackson Holiday also won the MLB Pipeline Prospect Hitter of the Year award at the age of 19 years old.

 

Now getting the chance to play in the Spring Training games this year, the now 20-year-old Holiday is not disappointing. He currently has 10 hits in 34 at-bats, which is a .297 batting average with a .314 on-base percentage. Holiday has already made some electric plays in Spring Training, including hitting a grand slam in an 11-6 win against the Toronto Blue Jays. Holiday also has 2 doubles and 2 triples so far and has been doing well in the field as well while playing shortstop.

 

Holiday draws some concern at shortstop because of his lack of arm strength. Of the 65 MLB shortstops who had enough throws to qualify for a Statcast ranking in 2023, just three averaged slower throws than Holiday’s average of 78.4 MPH. The thing is, the Orioles also have Gunnar Henderson who won The American League Rookie of The Year Award and the Silver Slugger Award last year and also happens to play shortstop. The Orioles can move Jackson Holiday to second base and still have both of the sluggers in their lineup.  Holiday is an excellent fielder outside of his arm, he makes accurate throws and has a good glove. 

 

Holiday is probably the best prospect hitter there is right now. He has a great combination of contact and power that allows him to generate extra-base hits at a consistent clip. He is also a good baserunner with natural instincts that allow him to steal a base or two. The Baltimore Orioles have an exciting young squad in the making. Players such as Gunnar Henderson, Adley Rutschman, and Cedric Mullins in the same lineup as Jackson Holiday could make them one of the scariest teams in the league for years to come. 

 

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