BOWIE, Md. – Jackson Holliday, shortstop at Double-A Bowie and the No. 1 ranked prospect in baseball, is working hard in the hours leading up to game time so that when first pitch arrives every night, he is ready to unleash his considerable talent and skills on opponent pitchers.
In a recent interview at Prince George’s Stadium, Holliday said he continues to learn better how to use the extensive scouting reports he gets on the pitchers he will see. He is learning to better use information not just on what a pitcher may throw, but how he prefers to use his pitches and what locations he most uses those pitches to get outs.
Getting better at this process not only helps Holliday now, but in the future when he gets to the big league level where the scouting and pre-game planning is most extensive.
“I really enjoy looking at the pitcher’s plots and scouting reports,” he said. “Feel like I’m doing a good job of knowing what I am getting myself into each at-bat. I try to use that as much as possible to create a game plan. For the most part you have never faced these guys, so I want to know what I am getting into. Feel like that is going well so far.
“Every single guy has a different percentage of what he throws on different counts. So, to be able to eliminate pitches to help myself have a better chance of getting a hit can be big. But for the most part you also need to be looking for fastballs.
“For sure I’ve gotten better at it (working with scouting info). Last year when I got drafted it was very new to me. High school, you don’t have a report. After about 80 games and going through big league spring training and listening to the big league coaches, (Ryan) Fuller, Borgs (Matt Borgschulte) and (Cody) Asche, and how to attack things I feel like I’ve got a good grasp on it.”
Holliday has proven to be very coachable and open to coaching.
“Feel like every coach has something to offer,” he said. “There are different outlooks and a point of view on the game from each guy and I try to take that from each coach. Want to play the game the right way and take it all in.
“I enjoy winning, no matter how I can help do that. Feel like everywhere I’ve been able to play we’ve been on the uptrain of wins so that is something I take pride in.”
Holliday, 19, has played at three levels this year. He began the year with Low Single-A Delmarva and played 14 games before moving to High-A Aberdeen for 57 games with the IronBirds. He has now played 21 games at Double-A Bowie.
* Holliday with Delmarva batted .396/.522/.660/1.182
* Holliday with Aberdeen batted .314/.452/.488/.940
* Holliday with Bowie is batting .356/.412/.563/.975
So, in 93 games with three teams in 2023 through Wednesday, he has hit .337/.454/.533/.987 with 22 doubles, eight triples, 10 homers, 21 steals, 84 runs and 63 RBIs. He has walked 73 times and fanned 86.
As the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, the kid has been a marked man by opponents all year.
“I try not to pay too much attention to it. At the end of the day, we’re all trying to get to the big leagues and stay there a long time. It is really neat to be the No. 1 prospect. But it’s just a thing. I’m trying to go out there and play,” he said.
On to Oakland: The Orioles took two of three at Seattle after losing the first game of the series. They lost two of three at San Diego after winning the first game. They have a 3-3 record on their West Coast trip heading to Oakland for a three-game set that begins tonight.
They have allowed 15 runs in back-to-back losses to the Padres heading into Thursday's off-day. They have scored just 17 runs in the six games of the trip.
In the Oakland series opener tonight, the Orioles, who lead the AL East by two games over Tampa Bay, send right-hander Kyle Gibson (11-7, 4.89 ERA) to the mound. Lefty Cole Irvin (1-3, 4.92 ERA) pitches Saturday and righty Kyle Bradish (7-6, 3.18 ERA) goes on Sunday afternoon.