The number one has followed Jackson Holliday like a shadow. No. 1 overall pick, No. 1 prospect in baseball.

Now, little more than a week into Holliday’s big league career, the number looms over the Orioles second baseman: one hit in his first 25 at-bats.

Despite his ballyhooed debut, the 20-year-old’s initial foray into Major League Baseball has yet to yield the results many have expected. Holliday has struck out 14 times, walked once and collected just one single in seven games. But his father, 15-year MLB veteran Matt Holliday, isn’t concerned.

“This is one of those times where he’s had a little bit of adversity,” Matt told “The Adam Jones Podcast” in an episode released Thursday. “He hasn’t had a ton of that as a player yet.

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“There’s nothing you can do about your start, your 1-for-whatever it is. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had 1-for-25s, and they’re just a blip on the radar when you get done with your career.”

Jackson Holliday went hitless in his first series, appearing in the final two games of a sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway Park. On Friday, the confines of Camden Yards provided little respite from his struggles. In his first home game, an 11-1 loss to the Brewers, Holliday failed to reach base, striking out three times.

“It felt like he had some good at-bats, just couldn’t find a hit,” Matt Holliday said of his son’s first three games. “But it’s one of those things. Baseball’s hard.”

But, in the series finale, Jackson Holliday slashed a single through the right side in the seventh inning. Matt Holliday, rising from his seat next to Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., exhaled.

“I think he’s starting to settle in,” he said. “But it’s been a great week. Obviously, you want the hits to come and you want the production to come, but they’re winning games. He’s playing really good defense at second base.”

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Jackson Holliday is hardly the first Orioles rookie to struggle at the start of his career. After receiving the call in May 2022, catcher Adley Rutschman hit just .137 in his first 20 games. Gunnar Henderson’s Rookie of the Year campaign got off to a slow start in 2023, when the shortstop was batting just .199 through the season’s first two months. Those numbers look like anomalies now.

“They have a really good young team, and so you have guys to lean on like Gunnar and Adley who have experienced some of the same things that Jackson’s experienced,” the elder Holliday said.

“I have to remind him: He’s 20 years old; he got drafted 18 months ago. He expects a lot out of himself, which is great. He expects to be good, he expects to be one of the best players, and that’s all good.”

When Matt Holliday made his big league debut with Colorado two decades ago, the outfielder joined a team that would finish the season with just 68 wins. The 2024 Orioles hold much higher aspirations than the 2004 Rockies.

Despite Holliday’s forgettable introduction to the majors, his team is 6-1 in games that he’s started. Although the O’s success may increase the pressure on Jackson to perform right away, it also alleviates the burden of producing runs.

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“He doesn’t have to be the focal point of the team,” Matt Holliday said. “They can bat him eighth and ninth, and he can go out and play good defense and run the bases and do things like that. So I think that that’s a good thing.”

Jackson Holliday has found immediate success at every stop of his baseball journey. A standout infielder at Stillwater High School in Oklahoma, he flew up draft boards in 2022 before being selected by Baltimore with the top pick. Holliday reached Triple-A Norfolk in 2023, putting up gaudy minor league numbers along the way — a .949 on-base-plus-slugging in 155 games.

Now, just 135 days removed from his 20th birthday, Holliday has hit the first major speed bump. It’s only a matter of time before he rolls over it.

“He’s got all the skills he needs,” Matt Holliday said. “He’s just gotta get going a little bit.”

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