Jackson Holliday just keeps passing every test this spring for the Orioles

The Orioles just need to embrace the fact that they have a special talent in Jackson Holliday.
Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles
Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
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The arguments against the Baltimore Orioles carrying Jackson Holliday on their Opening Day roster continue to dwindle with every passing day. Holliday came into camp with about a season and a half of pro ball under his belt, so some thought that he might get a reality check when he was up against big league pitching, which is usually ahead of hitters in general in spring training.

Instead, Holliday has put the rest of the league on notice. In 12 games this spring, Holliday is slashing .297/.316/.541 with five extra-base hits. Frankly, everyone should have known better, given that Holliday was even better than that last spring when he posted a 1.056 OPS.

One of the last boxes that Holliday needed to check this spring go around was to excel defensively. With the left side of Baltimore's infield very occupied heading into 2024, Holliday was going to have to prove that he could handle playing second base. For most of the spring, he just hadn't gotten many chances to prove what he could do.

However, some of Holliday's more recent outings have changed that, and now there are few who can still question his defense, and even fewer reasons to hold him down any longer.

Baltimore Orioles future star Jackson Holliday doesn't have much left to prove at spring training

Between a hot shot grounder that Holliday used a nifty spin move on to snag a speedy Michael Harris II at first base, and a nice around the horn double play turn again against the Braves, Holliday looked awfully comfortable handling his defensive duties at second. It was just one game, but the guy can only deal with what is given to him.

At some point, everyone just needs accept the fact that what Holliday is doing defies logic. No, 20-year-olds, even very talented ones, don't usually develop this quickly, hit like Holliday does or defend like he does. However, he has evolved swiftly, just like many of the all-time greats did, and accepting that will go a long way towards getting this decision right.

Maybe Holliday won't become an all-time great player. The odds suggest that he won't, because so many really gifted players never got to that point. However, he has earned the chance to prove himself with an Opening Day roster spot. After that, the rest is up to him.

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