Holliday hits first homer since returning to Triple-A

May 9th, 2024

The Orioles sent back to Triple-A to get everyday at-bats so he could find his swing, the idea being that if all went according to plan, MLB's top prospect would return to Baltimore in short order.

More nights like Wednesday, and that day might approach quickly.

Holliday cranked his first home run since returning to the Tides and did a little bit of everything out of the leadoff spot to pace Norfolk’s 12-3 win over Memphis at AutoZone Park.

The solo shot the 20-year-old pulled over the right-field wall off right-hander Sem Robberse (STL No. 12) in the third inning was his first roundtripper since April 2. Holliday went 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and two RBIs on the night.

It was the kind of performance that had become routine for Holliday prior to his first Major League callup on April 10. But Holliday’s first big league stint was short-lived. He went 2-for-34 and struggled to make consistent contact during his first cup of coffee after displaying all-around dominance over his first 159 Minor League games.

“He needs repetitions,” Orioles executive vice president and GM Mike Elias said at the time. “I think the bright side is he got very intense, very specific feedback from Major League pitching. He’s a brilliant talent, very sharp kid. I expect he’s going to go implement those adjustments very quickly. We felt Triple-A and steady playing time in Triple-A was the place for that.”

That was 12 days ago.

It took a few games for Holliday to get rolling again with the Tides. He went hitless in his first two games back and 1-for-his-first-13. But he’s 5-for-his-last-10 with hits in three straight games. He’s also drawn 10 walks in six outings since returning to Norfolk, proving that Triple-A pitchers are still well aware of the damage he can do with every swing.

"It's a little hiccup, and I think it's probably the first one that he's ever had, and he's ultimately gonna be better off for it," Elias said of Holliday's time in the Majors.

It shouldn't be long before the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 Draft finds his stride again, and that's good news for the Tides -- for as long as he's with them.