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Orioles send former No. 1 pick Holliday back to minors after he hit .059 in 10 MLB games

 The Associated Press  |    Apr 26th, 2024 2:50pm EDT

BALTIMORE (AP) — Highly touted prospect Jackson Holliday has been optioned to the minor leagues by the Baltimore Orioles after starting his big league career with a disappointing thud.

Holliday was promoted from Triple-A Norfolk on April 10 amid plenty of fanfare, but the 20-year-old second baseman managed only two hits — both singles — and two walks in 36 plate appearances. He struck out 18 times and was batting just .059 with one RBI and a .111 on-base percentage.

The Orioles tried to rest him periodically, but Holliday, the top pick in the 2022 MLB draft, never busted out of his funk at the plate. So, Baltimore sent him back to Norfolk on Friday before opening a three-game series at home against the Oakland Athletics.

Holliday will seek to regain his form at the plate with Norfolk, where he batted .333 with five doubles, two homers and nine RBIs in 10 games this season before being summoned by the Orioles.

Holliday excelled in the minors last season and was dominating Triple-A pitching at Norfolk, but that didn’t translate to success at the major league level during his time with the Orioles this month.

“You’re talking about somebody who’s never failed before,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said recently. “I don’t think anybody, except for the people that are down here in (uniform) understand how hard this is.”

The son of former All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday was thought to have a chance to make the big league club out of spring training, but instead started with Norfolk. Now he’s back down again, looking to right himself and get a second chance with Baltimore.

His demotion could cost the Orioles a prospect promotion draft pick. The stipulation is that players with little or no MLB service time need to break camp with the team or be called up within two weeks of Opening Day. Then they must spend all or most of the year in the big leagues. In addition, they must either win their league’s Rookie of the Year award, or place in the top three for MVP or Cy Young.

As part of the roster shuffle on Friday, the Orioles selected the contract of outfielder Ryan McKenna from Norfolk and designated catcher David Bañuelos for assignment.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb