Jackson Holliday didn’t inform the lodge clerk to Google him Monday, however he did must do some convincing.
Freshly promoted to the Triple-A Norfolk Tides from Double-A Bowie, Holliday was together with his fiancée as he tried to test right into a lodge within the metropolis. The downside: Holliday is simply 19, and the lodge required registering visitors to be at the very least 21.
The different downside: The baby-faced shortstop appears to be like like he’s barely reached adolescence.
The lodge clerk requested the couple what their state of affairs was.
“I just got called up,” Holliday mentioned. “We need a hotel that’s safe and nice.”
The clerk relented and rented them a room, and so started the keep of baseball’s prime prospect on his first night time in Triple-A.
Holliday, the highest decide within the 2022 draft by Orioles and the son of seven-time All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday, was taking part in highschool baseball in Oklahoma final yr. When he arrived in Norfolk, he reached his fourth degree of the group this season alone.
Entering Tuesday, when he was slated to steer off and play shortstop for the playoff-bound Tides, Holliday had batted .328 with 11 dwelling runs, 75 RBIs and 27 stolen bases by means of 127 profession skilled video games.
But his success doesn’t clarify away his youth.
“I feel like he should be dissecting a frog in Anatomy somewhere,” mentioned Norfolk supervisor Buck Britton, a former longtime minor league utilityman. “It’s impressive. I never could’ve been at this level doing what he’s doing at that age. Just an impressive young man. He’s been around the game a long time. He gets it, and obviously, the skill set’s off the charts. So we’re excited.”
The 6-foot, 185-pound Holliday signed for $8.19 million after hitting .685 with 17 homers and 79 RBIs in simply 40 video games as a senior at Stillwater High, incomes Baseball America National Player of the Year honors. He set a nationwide highschool file with 89 hits that season.
But Holliday, who has realized to grow to be completely comfy talking to teams of TV cameras and reporters as he’s progressed, describes himself as an abnormal man who likes to binge TV sequence, fish and play golf.
“I’m just a normal kid that happens to be pretty good at baseball,” he mentioned.
“It’s pretty crazy what all has happened in a year, but I’m very grateful.”
Fellow Norfolk infield prospect Coby Mayo spent a short time with Holliday throughout spring coaching. Mayo believes the hype is justified.
“I only got a small sample size, but he’s obviously a really good player,” Mayo, 21, mentioned. “He has all five tools. I think him just being here will give a little new spark and some new life, because every new player you get — especially if he’s going to be at the top of the lineup — it’s going to be exciting just to have a new guy on the team.”
In simply two seasons managing the Tides, Britton has seen the Orioles’ prime prospects come to Norfolk, thrive and transfer on to the massive leagues. Current Baltimore stars together with catcher Adley Rutschman, shortstop Gunnar Henderson and right-hander Grayson Rodriguez are amongst Britton’s current graduates.
Whether Holliday is likely to be subsequent stays to be seen.
“It hasn’t been discussed at my level,” Britton mentioned. “Anytime you get an exciting player with a lot of tools, you never know what can happen. But he just got here today, so we’re going to get him comfortable, run him out there, let him play, let him get adjusted to this level and make the necessary adjustments, which I’m sure is going to be quick for him. We’ll see what happens.”
As the Tides completed batting follow behind him, Holliday admitted that he is aware of just about nothing about Hampton Roads. Asked to pronounce the title of town, he used a tough “L” in “Norfolk.”
Like all the things else on the Triple-A degree, he’s prone to be taught.
Holliday mentioned his thoughts doesn’t drift to what he is likely to be doing in any other case or what his buddies again dwelling are as much as as they start maturity. After a childhood spent in huge league clubhouses, there was by no means a doubt.
“This is kind of what I dreamed of doing since I was little, so it was my only option,” he mentioned. “I didn’t really have a Plan B or anything like that. Baseball is kind of what I’ve always planned on doing.”
Britton, 37, has watched as gamers like Mayo and Holliday have arrived at youthful and youthful ages. It’s a humiliation of riches in a stacked group.
“You’ve got a 19-year-old kid in the clubhouse,” Britton mentioned. “I feel like I could be his dad, almost. That’s wild for me. But hopefully, he gets settled in and we get some grown men around him, and hopefully, he takes to that well. But of course, we’ll make sure we do everything to make him comfortable.”