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Fantasy Fallout: What to expect from Jackson Holliday

Set reasonable fantasy expectations for Holliday
Eric Samulski is excited about Jackson Holliday's MLB promotion by the Baltimore Orioles and cautions fantasy baseball managers to set reasonable expectations out of the gate for the talented 20-year-old.

The good news that fantasy managers have been waiting for has arrived, and maybe quicker than anticipated: Jackson Holliday is being called up by the Baltimore Orioles.

Holliday is widely considered the top prospect in baseball from a “real-life” perspective, and the fantasy community has come to the same consensus. He ranked first the last two weeks in my list of the Top 10 prospects for the 2024 season, and it’s not hard to understand why.

Here’s a look at what to expect from Holliday for the remainder of the 2024 campaign.

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Reason for optimism: Holliday was the first-overall pick in 2022, and to say that he’s been able to apply his impressive tools at an early basis is an understatement. Coming into Tuesday, the 20-year-old was slashing .333/.482/.595 with two homers, seven extra-base hits and 12 walks over 12 games. He’s already showing plus ability across the board, and his smooth swing along with excellent hand-eye coordination makes him very likely to hit for a high average. The power is still being developed, but 20-plus homer rates are well within reason. He also has plus speed, and a similar rate of steals — while a little less likely — is plausible, too.

On top of his offensive skill set, Holliday is an excellent defender up the middle, and although that doesn’t show up in fantasy box scores, it does mean he’s going to be in the lineup. A lot.

Reasons for pessimism: This is a 20-year-old who has played 12 games above the Double-A level. Baseball is hard. You probably see where I’m going with this, but we’ve seen lots of young star talents struggle in their first taste of MLB action. It wouldn’t be a real concern for anyone but fantasy players, but, well, this is why you’re here. Holliday also might not be in the lineup against tougher southpaws to start the year, and he may hit closer to the bottom of the lineup. The Baltimore group is so good that may not matter, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

Should you get him? Of course you should. It’s pretty amazing that he’s available if you’re playing in a competitive league, but if he is, he’s the type of player that outrageous FAAB bids were made for. Holliday has the talent to help in every single fantasy category, and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if he finished as one of the best infielders in the sport. That might seem like a take that’s been on the burner for a bit, but you just don’t see talents like Holliday very often. Do what you can.