Everything you need to know about Holliday's debut

April 10th, 2024

Wednesday should be a memorable day for , his family, the Orioles and fans all across Baltimore. It’s one that everybody has been eagerly awaiting for nearly two years.

Holliday, the son of former MLB outfielder Matt Holliday, is becoming a big leaguer himself, as the club announced on Wednesday that the 20-year-old infielder is getting called up from Triple-A Norfolk and will make his MLB debut for the O’s at Fenway Park in Boston. Fans can watch tonight's matchup against the Red Sox FREE on MLB.TV at 7 p.m. ET.

The left-handed hitting Holliday will immediately be inserted into the Orioles’ lineup, batting ninth against Red Sox right-hander Kutter Crawford and playing second base. Plus, Holliday is so talented that it makes the most sense to quickly get him in on the action.

Here’s everything there is to know about the debut of MLB Pipeline’s No. 1 overall prospect.

How can you watch the game?
Wednesday’s Orioles vs. Red Sox game begins at 7:10 p.m. ET. It will be shown on television on MASN and MLB Network, it will be MLB.TV's Free Game of the Day and it can be heard on 98 Rock and the Orioles Radio Network.

What position will Holliday play?
Holliday is a shortstop by trade, but he isn’t likely to get much time there for the O’s, as Gunnar Henderson is cemented in the starting role. So Holliday should get the majority of his playing time at second base, where he will play in his debut. He made nine of his 14 Grapefruit League starts at the keystone this spring and eight of his 10 Triple-A starts there this season.

One of the reasons general manager Mike Elias said the club optioned Holliday near the end of Spring Training was so he could get more reps at second. With Holliday at second and Henderson at short, Jordan Westburg will likely play a lot of third base moving forward.

Why is this happening now?
First, Holliday is clearly ready, despite his young age. He raked at every level of the Minors last year, then continued that upon his return to Triple-A Norfolk this season, recording a .333/.482/.595 slash line with five doubles, two homers and nine RBIs in 10 games.

Baltimore could also use a bit of an offensive boost. It scored seven runs on 13 hits in the series-opening victory over Boston on Tuesday, but that ended a recent funk for the bats. The O’s scored only 23 total runs during a seven-game span from March 31-April 7.

How highly is Holliday rated?
Holliday became MLB Pipeline’s No. 1 overall prospect last June, and he’s remained in that spot since. He is a 70-grade hitter with all-around skills, including impressive power (60), running (60), throwing (55) and fielding (55) tools.

Will he play every day?
When the Orioles optioned Holliday at the end of Spring Training, Elias made it clear that he wanted Holliday to become an everyday player upon his arrival to the big leagues. Elias said then he wanted to ensure the youngster would not end up “a part-time contributor in his early tenure here with this team.”

Holliday will surely always be in the lineup against right-handed pitching. He’ll likely play against most lefties, too, considering Baltimore wanted him to show he could handle southpaws at Triple-A -- and he did, going 4-for-10 with two doubles, one homer and three RBIs.

Who will have to move in the infield to make room?
The O’s will likely utilize Holliday at second, Henderson at short and Westburg at third most nights. Ramón Urías is off to a slow start (2-for-22), but he can be a valuable fill-in at any spot in the infield because of his plus defense. Jorge Mateo could get less time in the infield, though he’s also serving as a backup in the outfield and is a plus runner available to come off the bench.

Veteran Tony Kemp, who went 0-for-9 over his first five games of the season, was designated for assignment as the corresponding move for Holliday's arrival.

What number will Holliday wear?
Holliday will get No. 7, which is unofficially retired by the club in honor of the late Cal Ripken Sr., after previously asking the Ripken family for their blessing.