The players coming out of the MLB Draft aren’t always household names, but that wasn’t the case last year when Jackson Holliday was the No. 1 overall pick by the Orioles.
Holliday is the son of former MVP, world champion and seven-time All Star Matt Holliday. The resurgent Orioles have high hopes he’ll be the cornerstone of their current rebuild that’s already seen the team go from 52-110 just two seasons ago, to being 31-16 this season, good for the second-best record in baseball.
Due to injuries, Holliday played in just 20 minor league games his rookie season, but he’s showing everybody why the team picked him first overall this year. Check out these numbers last week:
That’s eight extra-base hits and 28 total bases in just 21 at-bats. That adds up to a 1.333 slugging percentage. It’s clearly a small sample size, but it goes to show what kind of talent this kid has. And his numbers are bearing it out.
In 34 games this year at two different levels of Single-A ball, Jackson has combined to hit .394, with six home runs, 35 RBI, 36 runs, 11 steals and an on-base percentage above .500. Those numbers are the kind you normally see former big leaguers had in high school.
And that didn’t even include what could be the best stat of all. Holliday has 31 walks to just 27 strikeouts. You don’t typically see young players with more walks than Ks. If anything portends to big-league success, it’s that.
Remember also, he’s just 19 years old, and plays middle infield. The most glaring hole in Baltimore’s lineup is at second base, which is currently being manned by Adam Frazier.
The Orioles will say there’s no rush in bringing him to the bigs anytime soon, but his numbers say he could be an asset and succeed immediately. And his experience being around major league clubhouses his entire life doesn’t hurt, either.
Not many 19 years old get that chance, but if he’s able to keep up his current pace, it may be hard for the Orioles to keep such a talent down on the farm too much longer.