Orioles Jackson Holliday decision might come back to haunt them

The Baltimore Orioles made the decision to relegate youth phenom and former No. 1 overall pick Jackson Holliday to the Minor Leagues, foreshadowing painful moments ahead.

Baltimore Orioles Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles Toronto Blue Jays / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Last season, the Baltimore Orioles won 100 games and the AL East division before losing in playoffs to the eventual World Series Champion Texas Rangers.

Now, as they enter 2024 looking to build off the success in 2023, they are attempting to do so without the services of young hotshot Jackson Holliday, the former No. 1 overall pick from the 2022 MLB Draft.

During the offseason, Orioles general manager Mike Elias expressed confidence that Holliday had a significant likelihood of making the big league team roster following his outstanding performance in the 2023 season.

Holliday recorded a a .311/.354/.600 slash line and had seven extra-base hits in 48 plate appearances in the Grapefruit League. He also won every major minor league player of the year award. Those stats alone should have been enough for him to crack the big league roster. Instead, he is being demoted.

If that's not the worst of it, even though Holliday can still gain a full year of service if he finishes first or second in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting, the Orioles would not be rewarded with a draft pick since he didn’t make the opening-day roster. The loss of not having another draft pick further hinders their opportunity to continue adding young talent to the roster.

The Baltimore Orioles are making a big mistake by relegating Jackson Holliday to the minors

The decision to keep Jackson Holliday in the minors allows the Orioles to save a 40-man roster spot for the time being. While this may seem like a practical move in the short term, it overlooks the long-term benefits of promoting Holliday to the majors.

General manager Mike Elias did provide the explanation that Holliday needs more repetitions against elite pitching, particularly left-handers, before making the jump to the majors, and that is understandable. But if he doesn't get any reps against the big leagues, how can he be so sure that he is not ready?

Additionally, not having a draft pick as a result of not having Holliday on the roster may not sound like a massive issue at first, but it hinders the farm system, which means the Orioles are losing out on a chance to add another young, developmental prospect that could help them down the line. It is fundamentally wrong, especially when the Orioles are looking to take the next step.

By relegating him to the minors instead of giving him the chance to showcase his abilities in the majors, the Orioles are hindering his development and stunting his growth as a player. This not only does a disservice to Holliday but also to the team and its fans who are eager to see promising talent like his contribute to the success of the franchise.

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