Holliday gets first Triple-A homer out of the way

September 15th, 2023

In a year full of milestones, can cross one more accomplishment off his list: his first Triple-A home run.

MLB's No. 1 prospect went deep for the first time with Norfolk in Thursday's 12-10 win over Memphis at Harbor Park. The solo homer was part of an offensive showing in which Holliday reached base four times -- a welcome sight nine games into his tenure at this level.

The No. 1 overall selection in the 2022 Draft by the Orioles has progressed from Single-A Delmarva up to the brink of the Majors in his first full professional season. It's been a slow start for Holliday at Norfolk -- he was 5-for-33 with seven walks heading into Thursday's game -- but he is the only 19-year-old at Triple-A.

Any challenges in adjusting to the new level were not apparent Thursday, as Holliday showed his signature advanced approach from the start. After fouling off the first three pitches in his initial plate appearance, he worked a walk to increase his on-base streak to seven games.

Holliday continued to battle in his second trip to the plate until he could find a pitch to drive. On his fifth pitch, he lifted a low-and-inside changeup high in the air with the wind blowing out -- and it carried over the fence in right-center field.

Notably, the homer wasn't even Holliday's best-struck ball of the game, even with a 98.3 mph exit velocity. In his final time up, after grounding out and walking, he barreled a ball 408 feet off the top of the fence in center for a double -- his hardest Triple-A hit at 102.5 mph.

Holliday's day raised his Norfolk OPS 200 points to .717, and it's been trending in a better direction since his 1-for-13 start. He's got a few more firsts to cross off before the end of the Triple-A season, but with a .322/.443/.505 slash line across four levels this year, it may not be long before he's setting similar milestones in Baltimore.