Jackson Holliday Opens Up On ‘Unfortunate’ Orioles Demotion

Jackson Holliday

Getty Jackson Holliday at batting practice with the Baltimore Orioles on May 13.

Fans waited over 600 days for Jackson Holliday‘s MLB debut with the Baltimore Orioles. It lasted just 16 days before he was optioned back to the minors.

Holliday’s since been optioned back to their Triple-A affiliate Norfolk Tides. In a recent interview with Tommy Cassell of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, he opened up for the first time on his Orioles’ demotion.

“It’s a little bit unfortunate,” Holliday said on May 25. “But to be able to come down here and kind of relax and work on things and be able to go back up there and compete at a high level and help impact the team is kind of the way that I’m looking at it. I mean, obviously, this isn’t where I want to be, I want to be in the big leagues. But just trying to be present and be where my feet are.”

Holliday, who opened up 2024 as MLB’s consensus number one prospect, underwhelmed in his first stint in the majors. He went 2-for-34 with 18 strikeouts in 10 games with Baltimore.

“I felt really good in spring training, and going into the beginning of the year, and obviously had a little of a down stretch,” Holliday told Cassell. “So just trying to build back up a little bit and get my confidence up.”

The 20-year-old slugger is batting .264/.422/.450 with 5 home runs and 18 RBIs in 35 games with the Tides.

Holliday Focused on MLB Adjustments

As disappointed as Holliday is with his initial major-league stint, he’s choosing to focus on necessary adjustments while back in Triple-A.

“It’s hard,” Holliday said. “Baseball is really hard, and just being able to adjust fast and find the positives in each and every at-bat.”

General manager Mike Elias hinted at those same adjustments when he met with reporters following Holliday’s demotion on April 26.

“So I think the bright side is that he got very intense, very specific feedback from major league pitching,” Elias told reporters. “He’s a brilliant talent and a very sharp kid. I expect he’s going to go implement those adjustments really quickly. But we felt that the Triple-A and steady playing time in Triple-A was the place for that.”

So far, so good for Holliday, who’s adopted a new batting stance since his demotion.

He’s still on track to finish the year in the majors by all accounts. But his status among MLB rookies has taken a hit.

Holliday’s Stint Affects His Rookie Standings

Holliday opened the year as the favorite for AL Rookie of the Year, and the consensus number one prospect. Neither prospective title is his after the 10-game stint with Baltimore.

Mason Miller, the fireball thrower closer for the Oakland Athletics, is the favorite for Rookie of the Year. In 18 games in 2024, Miller has thrown 45 strikeouts in 23 innings pitched, good for a 1.96 ERA.

Vegas Insider currently has Miller listed as the favorite on both BetMGM and FanDuel. Ironically, it’s Orioles’ outfielder Colton Cowser sitting behind him.

For the first time all season, the ESPN’s Top 50 MLB Prospects list is published without Holliday’s name at the top. Paul Skenes of the Pittsburgh Pirates, has overtaken Holliday in certain Rookie of the Year polls.

The 22-year-old Skenes has started two games with the Pirates since his call-up, and has thrown 18 strikeouts in 10 innings pitched.

Holliday’s initial stint was an unfortunate one, yes. But how he preps for the next one is what’s most important for the 20-year-old slugger.

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