It’s no coincidence that Jackson Holliday has been instrumental in helping the IronBirds take flight. As Holliday has settled since his promotion, Aberdeen has found its identity and climbed to within a game of reaching the .500 mark.
Against the Winston-Salem Dash, the IronBirds showed just how strong they are as they would take the series 5-1 while increasing their winning streak to five.
Let’s see who stood out and made a difference for the series.
JACKSON HOLLIDAY – INF
Since Jackson Holliday was promoted to Aberdeen on April 24, the team has not only looked different but has played with a different swagger than before, going 13-10 since his arrival. The series against the Dash showed just how special Holliday is and how he is having a similar effect on Aberdeen as Adley Rutschman did in Baltimore.
In the IronBirds’ 13-3 victory on Wednesday, Holliday would go 5-for-6 at the plate, collecting a double and triple amongst his hits. He would score four runs, drive in five and steal a base to guide his team to victory.
Holliday parlayed his series against the Dash into South Atlantic League Player of the Week honors. For the series, Holliday would go 13-for-21 (.619 avg.), collecting eight extra base hits and driving in 14 runs.
In 21 games in High-A, the former number one overall pick is slashing .395/.505/.724. He has 13 extra base hits (five doubles, four triples and four home runs), scored 21 runs, drove in 20, stole eight bases and has 17 walks to 15 strikeouts.
The Orioles’ new top overall prospect has played 34 total games (27 at shortstop and seven at second base) in the minors this season and has a combined .990 fielding percentage, showing he has just as much defensive upside as offensive.
MAX WAGNER – INF
Holliday’s draft mate, Max Wagner, had a big series at the plate and seems to be coming into his own. The series against the Dash showed how Wagner has grown since being selected in the second round.
Against the Dash, Wagner would go 7-for-15 at the plate while collecting nine walks in the series. The former Clemson Tiger scored 10 runs in five games and struck out only two times.
In Aberdeen’s 5-1 win Friday, Wagner, who hits lead-off, would go 2-for-2 while picking up a double and three walks. He would also score two runs in the game.
For the season, Wagner has improved his slash line to .225/.367/.408. He has totaled five home runs and collected 13 RBIs while scoring 27 runs in 34 games and has walked 23 times and stolen 10 bases.
ALEX PHAM – RHP
Alex Pham is a third-year pitcher who is growing more and more each time out. Though most pitchers don’t toss more than four innings in Aberdeen, Pham made a statement in his most recent start.
In the IronBirds’ 4-1 victory Thursday, Pham would start the game and pitch four innings. He would give up just two hits, and though he walked three, he struck out six along the way and yielded no runs.
Pham did not collect the victory because he only pitched those four innings, but he did drop his ERA to 1.65. In May alone, Pham has posted a 0.00 ERA across three starts, holding opponents to a .089 batting average and a WHIP of 0.79.
The young IronBirds are stepping with some swagger and will enjoy an off day before welcoming the Jersey Shore BlueClaws for a seven-game series (double header Wednesday).
Will the IronBirds continue their winning streak? Can they make and eclipse the .500 mark? It all starts Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. EST.
Who stood out to you for Aberdeen 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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