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Tides off to hot start in International League

Jackson Holliday Jackson Holliday - Getty Images

Something fascinating is happening right now with the Baltimore Orioles Triple-A affiliate Norfolk Tides. 

The team can’t stop scoring runs. 

The 5-1 Tides have scored 74 runs through their first six games of the year – a whopping 12.3 runs per game to start the season. 

The Tides have scored 31 more runs than any other team in the league, while eight of the 20 teams in the International League have yet to score 20 runs. 

Norfolk scored 26 runs in a record-setting win over Charlotte earlier this week in a game that saw the team set single-game franchise records in runs, home runs, and hits. 

The Tides became the first team to score 26 or more runs in an International League game since the Buffalo Bisons scored 27 on April 18, 2013. 

But it’s not just that one game lifting all of the Tides stats. The team has scored nine or more runs in five of the six games. 

The Tides are back in action tonight as -162 favourites over the 1-5 Charlotte Knights. 

This Tides team presents an interesting situation of a Triple-A team loaded with MLB-ready talent. And while the Baltimore organization figures out the best way to play this, I want to highlight three big names who have played a large role in this hot start. 


Norfolk has not one, not two, but three players in the lineup who are ranked inside the MLB Pipeline's top 35. 

Leading the charge is No. 1-ranked prospect Jackson Holliday. 

The first-overall pick from 2022 has assumed the leadoff role for the Tides and is hitting .393 to start the season with a .471 on-base percentage. 

Holliday had 48 plate appearances with Baltimore in spring training, tallying 14 hits with a .311 batting average. 

Currently, he is the third choice on FanDuel to win 2024 AL Rookie of the Year. It’s a sign that his time tormenting AAA-pitching might not last much longer as the big club will be calling soon. 

If you missed it Thursday night, Coby Mayo hit a home run to give Norfolk their fifth win of the season, and I think the ball is still travelling. 


Mayo is the No. 29-ranked prospect in baseball at the moment, and his level of play in 2024 has shown why. 

The 22-year-old infielder is hitting .367 to start the season and has driven in five runs in just six games. 

He is +6500 to win AL ROY. 

The final name we’ll get to has been the best of the bunch in 2024. 

No. 31-ranked prospect Heston Kjerstad has hit the cover off the ball in 2024. In six games, he has 16 hits and leads the team with a .571 batting average. 

The 25-year-old went second overall in the 2020 draft and is one of only three players in the MLB Pipeline listed inside the top 100 despite being older than 24. 

Kjerstad is tied for the team lead in home runs (five), while his 21 runs batted in are six more than anyone else on the team. 


A team loaded with prospects firing on all cylinders has led to some huge offensive output and it’s led to a massive swing in team stats. 

Here is a look at some of the offensive categories this team leads in through the opening six games of the season. 

Norfolk Tides Team Rankings

Stat Total Lead by
Runs 74  31 (Durham)
Batting Average  .362  0.64 (Durham)
Home Runs  24  15 (Louisville and Memphis)
Hits  88 23 (Durham) 
 Total Bases 185 88 (Durham)

It’s safe to say this has been a dominant start for a team that might not be together for much longer. As for tonight, I’ve added them to my card despite the -162 price.