Could top prospect Jackson Holliday join the Orioles this season? GM Mike Elias ‘wouldn’t rule it out.’


The chances Jackson Holliday makes his MLB debut this season are small. But they’re not zero.

Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said Friday he “wouldn’t rule it out” when asked if Holliday could play for Baltimore in 2023. However, Elias followed that by downplaying the possibility of the 19-year-old top prospect from jumping two more levels in the season’s final two months.

“I wouldn’t rule it out, but, I mean, I don’t rule out anything, as you can probably tell,” Elias said during his pre-trade deadline news conference. “One step at a time. He’s in Double-A. He was in high school a year ago.”

Holliday, the No. 1 overall pick in last summer’s draft, has dominated every level of the minor leagues. The shortstop hit .396 with Low-A Delmarva to begin his first full professional season, posted a .940 OPS in 57 games with High-A Aberdeen and is now hitting .357 in 10 games with Double-A Bowie.

In 81 games across the three levels, Holliday is slashing .334/.458/.523 — good for a .981 OPS — with 21 doubles, six triples, eight home runs, 20 stolen bases and just seven more strikeouts than walks. The shortstop was scratched from Thursday’s lineup because of an illness, and Elias said he would miss several games.

Holliday, ranked by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline as the sport’s No. 1 prospect, entered the season with reaching Double-A as his goal. He achieved that in mid-July, saying before his first game with the Baysox that “now, there’s new goals.”

“That would be quite something,” Holliday said when asked if reaching the majors this season was possible. “But I wouldn’t put it past myself at this point, so who knows?”

If Holliday were to debut this season, he would become just the fifth teenage position player to do so, joining Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Jurickson Profar and Juan Soto.

While Manny Machado was 20 when he debuted for the Orioles in August 2012, he did make the jump to the majors from Double-A. However, Machado was in his third year of professional ball compared with Holliday being in his second, and the former had 109 games at Double-A under his belt while the latter has only 10.

At the same time, though, Holliday’s numbers so far in his minor league career are better than Machado’s were and are more similar (although, not as otherworldly) to those Soto posted in the Washington Nationals system before being promoted. Soto slashed .362/.434/.609 in 122 minor league games — just eight in Double-A and none in Triple-A — to earn his big league promotion. In 101 minor league games, Holliday is slashing .328/.464/.506

“He’s doing very, very, very, very well,” Elias said. “If he climbs beyond Double-A this year, it would be borderline unprecedented. I don’t want to put any more on his plate than continuing to kind of accrue his minor league experience.”



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