Holt's adjustment to Columbus not taking long at all
When a player moves up the minor league ladder, it’s safe to assume that it might take them some time to acclimatize to each level.
That isn’t the case with Columbus Clippers outfielder Tyler Holt. Ever since making his Triple-A debut on May 26, Holt has been a revelation. When asked about how he’s made such a seamless switch, the 25-year-old is quick to the role others have played in his success.
“It’s a credit to the guys in the locker room, it’s been an easy transition,” Holt said. “I haven’t felt like I need to do anything more to impress anybody, just be who I am and play the game hard and try to help this team win.”
He’s been doing more than just playing the game – he’s making it look easy, and Columbus is just the latest stop where he’s impressed. Before his latest call-up, Holt was hitting .298 in 39 games with Double-A Akron after driving in a career-high of 42 runs in 2013.
And while his numbers before his move to Huntington Park were impressive, his stats with his new team have been even better.
He wasted no time in making an impact: he only recorded one hit on his debut, but it was the tying run in the ninth, setting up an eventual 4-3 win. Holt then recorded 10 hits over his first six games with the Clippers, with at least one in each contest.
A hitless night on May 31 was simply a precursor to a new nine-game hit streak. His 13 hits during that period were products of the things Holt has been working on with his hitting coaches in both Akron and Columbus.
“[Rouglas] Odor in Double-A and Jim Rickon here have helped me feel my swing a little more and (find out) what’s been working for me,” Holt said. “I’d say [the keys to hitting improvement have been] work ethic and those guys and pitch selection, just trying to go deep in at-bats and hopefully swing at good pitches.”
Whether he’s just been swinging at good pitches or getting lucky on bad ones, something has been going right. Even when it doesn’t, Holt seems to come back stronger. After being held hitless as a Clipper for just the second time, Holt returned to the plate the next night to smack his first homer with his new ball club.
Holt’s knack for getting on base – his OBP was at .450 after 17 games in Columbus – makes him a great option at the top of the order. Add to that the ability to steal bases and play solid defense in the outfield and Holt becomes an even more useful tool for any team. With such a varied skillset, it can be difficult to make sure that each aspect catches up with the level being played at. But Holt said that he takes a much more holistic approach.
“If you go into everyday and try to get better in everything that you do and just keep working, then everything’s going to fall into place,” Holt said. “Whether you’re supposed to make it or not, you just keep doing what you need to be doing to help the team win and make good things happen.”
A natural center fielder, Holt has also spent significant time in the corners. In fact, he played 27 of his 31 games in Double-A this year at either left or right field. No matter where he’s playing, Holt said he knows he still has work to do.
“Obviously I feel comfortable in center; I’ve played there my whole life. I do have growing to do in center, but I also have a lot of growing and experience to do in left and right,” Holt said. “I feel comfortable playing the game so I wouldn’t say that any position is harder. But I would say that yes, center field is the easiest but I feel like I can play in any position out there.”
What comes next for Tyler Holt is anyone’s guess. His performances may point to a career in bigger venues, but like many of his teammates Holt isn’t looking that far ahead.
“There is no goal, there isn’t anything to obtain. There’s just one pitch, one at-bat, one day, one game at a time to where, if you can come to the field and work and play the best you can and know you did everything you could that day, you look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day after a shower and you say ‘I did everything I can,’” Holt said.
“Whether you’re 4-for-4 or 0-for-4, I think that’s the so-called goal. There is no ‘let’s get to big leagues tomorrow,’ no ‘September callup’, no ‘play in the big leagues for 10 years.’ Obviously those are all things everybody wants but once you start thinking about that you kind of lose track of what you’re trying to do day in and day out. I think that’s the biggest thing for me: to go day in and day out and just realize that if I’m getting better, that’s all I can ask of myself.”
When Murphy's contract is completed, I would think either Chis or Kip will move to the outfield to make way for some of the talented middle infield players that the team has.
Tyler needs to ask for a trade.