The Orioles today announced the winners of their player development and scouting awards for 2023, including shortstop JACKSON HOLLIDAY as the club’s top minor league player and right-handed pitcher CHAYCE McDERMOTT as the club’s top minor league pitcher. Norfolk Manager BUCK BRITTON and Area Scout DAVE JENNINGS will also be honored for their contributions to the organization. Jennings will be recognized in an on-field ceremony prior to the game against the Boston Red Sox tonight, with his award presented by Director of Draft Operations BRAD CIOLEK. With Triple-A Norfolk winning the International League, Holliday, McDermott, and Britton will be in Las Vegas for the Triple-A National Championship tonight and unable to attend.
Holliday, 19, slashed .323/.442/.499 (154-for-477) with 30 doubles, nine triples, 12 homers, 113 runs scored, 75 RBI, 101 walks, and 24 stolen bases in 125 regular season games between Single-A Delmarva, High-A Aberdeen, Double-A Bowie, and Triple-A Norfolk. He led the minors in runs scored, becoming the first O’s minor leaguer since at least 2005 to accomplish the feat, and ranked among qualified full-season minor leaguers in on-base percentage (5th) and walks (T-5th). Holliday led the organization in batting average, on-base percentage, runs, triples, and walks while ranking among the leaders in hits (2nd), OPS (3rd, .941), slugging percentage (4th), total bases (4th, 238), and doubles (T-4th). He represented the organization at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, won South Atlantic League and O’s Minor League Player of the Month in May, and was Player of the Week in the Carolina League for the period April 17-23 and in the South Atlantic League for the period May 15-21. Holliday was recently named the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year, marking the second straight year an Oriole earned the honor (Gunnar Henderson). Baltimore selected him No. 1 overall in the 2022 First-Year Player Draft out of Stillwater High School (OK). He is the top-ranked MLB prospect by Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, and ESPN.
McDermott, 25, enjoyed his first full season in the organization, going 8-8 with one save and a 3.10 ERA (41 ER/119.0 IP) with 69 hits, 44 total runs, nine home runs, five hit batters, 68 walks, and 152 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .167 average (69-for-413) in 26 games (22 starts) between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. He led all qualified full-season minor leaguers in opponent average while ranking among O’s organizational leaders in strikeouts (2nd), ERA (2nd), wins (T-2nd), starts (3rd), innings (4th), and WHIP (3rd, 1.15). McDermott was a two-time International League Pitcher of the Week, earning the honor in back-to-back periods from July 24-30 and July 31-August 6, and won the organization’s Pitcher of the Month in August. He was acquired by the Orioles at last year’s trade deadline as part of a three-team trade with Houston and Tampa Bay after being selected by the Astros in the fourth round of the 2021 First-Year Player Draft out of Ball State University (IN). He is currently ranked as the No. 10 O’s prospect by MLB Pipeline and No. 14 Orioles prospect by Baseball America.
Britton has been named the winner of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Player Development Award, named for the late Orioles coach and manager who is widely regarded as the architect of “The Oriole Way.” Each year, a minor league staff member who exemplifies Ripken’s qualities as an instructor is recognized with the award. Britton led the Tides to the International League Championship, beating Durham 2-1 in the best-of-three series, and to the best record in the league at 90-59 (.604) while setting the franchise record for wins in a season. He helped guide six players to their MLB debuts this season, and in total, 31 different players appeared on both Baltimore’s and Norfolk’s rosters in 2023. Britton just completed his second year as the Triple-A manager and sixth as a coach or manager in the O’s system after enjoying a nine-year playing career, including his first seven in the Orioles organization. He also earned the honor in 2021 when he was the manager with Double-A Bowie and becomes the third multi-time recipient since the award’s inception in 2003, joining Mike Griffin (2009-10) and the late Ron Johnson (2015, 2018).
Jennings was named the Jim Russo Scout of the Year, named in honor of the man who spent 33 years in various scouting capacities with the Orioles beginning with their move from St. Louis in 1954. Jennings has been in the organization since 2002, proving to be an important member of the scouting operations as he patrols Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Some of his recent signees include current Major Leaguers GUNNAR HENDERSON (John T. Morgan Academy, Ala.) and JORDAN WESTBURG (Mississippi State), current minor leaguers HUDSON HASKIN (Tulane, La.), REED TRIMBLE (Southern Mississippi), and COLLIN BURNS (Tulane, La.), as well as former first-round selections KEVIN GAUSMAN (2012, Louisiana State University), MATT WIETERS (2007, Georgia Tech), and NICK MARKAKIS (2003, Young Harris College, Ga.).
2023 AWARD WINNERS
Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year: Jackson Holliday (Delmarva/Aberdeen/Bowie/Norfolk)
Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year: Chayce McDermott (Bowie/Norfolk)
Cal Ripken, Sr. Player Development Award: Buck Britton (Norfolk)
Jim Russo Scout of the Year Award: Dave Jennings