Holliday promoted to Aberdeen, IronBirds grounded by BlueClaws: Weekly Recap

It was announced today that Orioles No. 2 prospect and Baseball America’s No. 10 prospect Jackson Holliday has been promoted from Low-A Delmarva to High-A Aberdeen.

For the Shorebirds, the 19-year-old Holliday slashed .392/.523/.667 in 13 games as a Shorebird this season. Nine of his 20 hits have gone for extra bases, as he had six doubles, one triple and two home runs. He has scored 15 runs while driving in 15 and stealing three bases.

The 2022 No. 1 overall pick showed plate discipline as he walked 14 times while only striking out 12. He will be joining the IronBirds starting Tuesday for their series in Wilmington.

Holliday, son of seven-time All-Star Matt Holliday, re-joined the Shorebirds out of 2023 spring training, having posted a .297/.489/.422 line in 20 games in 2022.

“The IronBirds are thrilled to have Jackson joining us here in Aberdeen to play in Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. He’s a special player, and we are thrilled to have him joining the ranks of players who have stopped in Harford County on their journey through Birdland.”

– IronBirds GM Jack Graham

Aberdeen is 5-9 to start the young season. But what’s interesting is they clump together a few wins sandwiched around a few losing streaks.  

With a young team, this is nothing abnormal. For IronBirds fans, it has them frustrated, especially after last season’s postseason run.  

Not to say it’s storming in Aberdeen, but amongst the struggles, there are positives as these young prospects learn and develop.

Let’s take a look at the standouts for this series.

Jud Fabian – OF

The young Jud Fabian, selected in the same draft as Jackson Holliday, is starting to turn heads in High-A ball and showed exactly why this series.

Collecting five hits across 17 at-bats (.294), the power-hitting outfielder left his mark Sunday in the IronBirds’ 8-5 defeat.

Fabian would go 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and a home run while adding a run, two RBIs and a walk. His home run in the seventh inning put the IronBirds on top, but the bullpen couldn’t hold.

On the season, “Jud The Stud” is now slashing .222/.309/.356. He has two home runs, 11 RBIs, eight runs and two stolen bases. Fabian has also reached base in 10 of the 13 games he’s played.

Luis Valdez – INF

Valdez is adapting to the quicker pace of play. The young speedster, who stole 71 bases last season, is developing his game to his talents and making the most of his opportunity.

Valdez has played in 11 games this season (he did pinch run and score in another), reaching base in nine of them. He reached base seven times (five hits and two walks) in the four games he played in the series.

In Aberdeen’s 4-3 loss Friday, Valdez would lead the charge, collecting three of the IronBirds’ 10 hits. He would collect a double and two singles while driving in two runs in the game.

On the season, Valdez is slashing .250/.300/.361. Of his nine hits, four of them are doubles. He also has scored six runs, drove in five runs and stolen four bases across 12 games.

Alex Pham – RHP

After a rough start to the season, the second-year righty has righted the ship. Pham has dropped his ERA almost seven points over the last two appearances, but it was his most recent that stood out.

Appearing in Sunday’s loss, Pham would enter in the fourth inning and would toss four innings, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out five. He was in line to get the victory, but unfortunately, the bullpen couldn’t close it out.

On the year, Pham is now 0-1 across three games. His ERA is down to 3.97 across 11.1 innings, as he has struck out 14 and brought his WHIP down 0.60 points to 1.41.

Though these players stood out for the IronBirds, they would drop the series, one win to four losses, and fall to 5-9 on the year. Aberdeen is tied for last place and 5.5 games out of first.

The IronBirds are off Monday before heading to Wilmington, Delaware, to take on the Blue Rocks. Will the IronBirds take flight?

Who stood out to you for the IronBirds this week? Let us know in the comments below! Make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

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