Orioles reassign prized prospect Jackson Holliday to minor league camp

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Jackson Holliday’s major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles will have to wait.

The Orioles announced Friday they had reassigned Holliday to their minor league camp, meaning the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 amateur draft won’t start the season in the majors.

Holliday, 20, is the son of former seven-time All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday and is regarded as one of baseball’s top overall prospects.

“He’s very, very close," Orioles general manager Mike Elias said. "He’s ahead of schedule. He’s done remarkably well. We couldn’t be more excited about his future. You’re talking about the development of a player who has the opportunity to be one of the better, if not the best players in the league. … We feel that this will be in the long-term best interests of everyone involved to allow him to have a little more Triple-A experience for those reasons. I’m sure he’s going to do well.”

Holliday made a strong case to make the major league roster, going 6 for 14 with two homers, six RBIs and two steals in Grapefruit League action.

Holliday batted .323 with a .442 on-base percentage, 12 homers, 75 RBIs and 24 steals in 125 games for four minor league teams from the Class A to Triple-A levels last season. He primarily played second base and shortstop while also making two appearances at third base.

Elias noted that Holliday only has 18 games of Triple-A experience. Elias said the Orioles want to give him regular playing time at second base on the Triple-A level before bringing him to the majors.

“He’s not faced a ton of major league quality or even Triple-A quality left-handed pitching,” Elias said. "That’s something that’s going to be thrust in his face when he’s in the American League East.”

Baltimore has until April 11 to promote Holliday and be eligible for a prospect promotion pick at the end of the first round of the 2025 amateur draft, such as were earned by Seattle’s Julio Rodríguez in 2022 and Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson and Arizona’s Corbin Carroll last year.

In other moves Friday, the Orioles optioned outfielders Heston Kjerstad and Kyle Stowers to minor league camp and reassigned catcher David Bañuelos, infielder Coby Mayo, utilityman Connor Norby and right-handed pitcher Albert Suárez to minor league camp.