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Jackson Holliday plays first professional game at third base

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One of the quickest paths to the Majors is through versatility. If a prospect can field multiple positions, it makes the job of managers a lot easier.

On Sunday, Jackson Holliday took his first step toward that versatility, playing his first professional game at third base. In the game, Holliday went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk as High-A Aberdeen beat Wilmington, 5-2.

We know the bat is there — the new No. 1 prospect in baseball following MLB Pipeline’s update Sunday — has slashed .303/.445/.491 through 49 games with the IronBirds — so it only makes sense that he would work on polishing his glove.

The torrid pace that Holliday has been on at the dish has garnered some jokes about him being Major League-ready. While he is certainly a ways away from the bigs, learning a secondary position will only expedite future promotions.

In his first taste of action at the position, the ball found the top-ranked Orioles prospect right away. The leadoff batter in the bottom of the first inning popped a ball up in foul territory right to Holliday, and he handled it with no problem.

Later in the game, Holliday had a bit of a hiccup at the position. On a dribbler down the third-base line, Holliday ranged to his right, but was unable to come up with the ball cleanly with his backhand.

One similar scenario that comes to mind is that of No. 3 overall prospect Elly De La Cruz. A natural shortstop, De La Cruz also spent time at third base in Triple-A this season to fit into the Cincinnati lineup more easily. Now in the Majors, he’s splitting time between the hot corner and shortstop, while Matt McLain, another budding star, plays both shortstop and second.

Adding third to his repertoire will be another step in the right direction for Holliday, who seems to be on the fast track through the Minor Leagues.

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