Shortstop Jackson Holliday is making the transition to professional baseball look remarkably easy. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles is hitting .323 with 12 home runs and 75 RBIs in 125 games across four different levels in the minor leagues.
Already ranked as the top prospect in baseball by MLB.com, Holliday was named Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year on Monday, just one year after the publication named him its 2022 High School Player of the Year.
— Orioles Player Development (@OsPlayerDev) September 25, 2023
He began 2023 in Single-A and made stops in High-A and Double-A before getting promoted to Triple-A earlier this month. In 18 games with the Triple-A Norfolk Tides, Holliday has collected 20 hits, two of which were home runs.
During a recent appearance on the “Flippin’ Bats” podcast, Holliday discussed how he handles the pressure that comes with being a first overall pick.
“At the end of the day, you’re just guys coming out here playing baseball,” he said. “Once you’re on the field, that kind of all goes away. Our goal is to be in the big leagues, not to be the No. 1 prospect. At the end of the day, I’m trying to make it to the big leagues as fast as possible and help the Orioles win championships. All the cool awards and stuff like that is just part of it.”
You should listen to Jackson Holliday's response to the pressure of being the number 1 prospect in baseball pic.twitter.com/5MENiJFUL5
— 𝙆𝙣𝘽 (@kazknowsball) September 16, 2023
Holliday also talked about pressure in December when he joined the Sports Spectrum Podcast. He explained how his relationship with God helps keep him grounded with so much attention surrounding him.
“We like to say that pressure is a privilege,” he said on the podcast. “If you have pressure on you, you’re probably doing something right. It’s just about being able to rely on God, and being able to pray, and being able to put it all in His hands to just take it day by day and play the game I’ve grown up loving.”
Jackson’s dad, seven-time MLB All-Star Matt Holliday, and mom, Leslee Holliday, helped instill a strong faith in God in their oldest child, and that faith has guided Jackson throughout his career. He has been outspoken about wanting to use baseball to glorify the Lord, and has “Christian” as the first thing listed in his Instagram bio.
Holliday captioned a recent post with “John 3:30.” The Bible verse says, “He must become greater; I must become less.”
View this post on Instagram
Being on so many teams in such a short period of time has allowed Holliday to build lots of relationships early in his career. His goal is to make his faith part of those relationships as they continue to grow.
“I love meeting new people and learning about my teammates and becoming friends with them, so I love that part about the minor leagues so far,” he told Sports Spectrum. “And hopefully I’m able to share my faith and grow the Kingdom.”
Holliday’s incredible season in the minors has led to speculation about Baltimore calling him up to the majors now that rosters have expanded. The Tides conclude their season with a best-of-three International League Championship Series against the Durham Bulls that begins Tuesday and ends Wednesday or Thursday.
Baltimore is 2.5 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays for the No. 1 seed in the American League with six games left.
– Top prospect Jackson Holliday thriving in minors, puts it ‘all in His hands’
– SS PODCAST: No. 1 draft pick Jackson Holliday on staying humble, trusting God
– Jackson Holliday goes No. 1 in MLB draft, aims to glorify God through baseball
– TABLE FORTY PODCAST: Jackson Holliday, Son of Matt & Leslee Holliday
– Kyle Gibson racking up wins, providing spiritual leadership for AL-leading Orioles