How I Met Your Aeros: Tyler Holt
As the new guy in Akron Aeros’ locker room, outfielder Tyler Holt knows his place. “The guys are older, and things are a lot different here as in you do your own business and stay to yourself, he said. “You don’t want to come in here and try to break up or distract anyone that has their routine, so I’m just trying to get a feel for those guys and how things are done here and obviously follow by example.”
Holt may be minding his manners in the locker room, but if he’s not careful, his play will start distracting his teammates. His raw stats still leave some to be desired (.261/.348/.336 slash line between Carolina and Akron), but Holt always leaves it all out on the field.
A lot of players get in trouble for trying to do too much, but Holt is trying to learn not to beat himself and to let his natural talent win out. “I’m so emotionally into the game and wear my emotions on my sleeve,” he said. “I have to work on controlling that to a certain extent and showing the positive side more than the negative. I think I’ve been doing a better job of that and the team feeds off that.”
Part of not trying to do too much comes with Holt accepting that his role is to be the tablesetter for the middle of the lineup. When asked about his approach, Holt said that “my job is to get on base. I’m not really hitting home runs or for power, so hopefully I get on base, steal a couple of bases here and there, and just kind of set the table for the guys behind me so they can get their RBIs in and score runs.”
In addition to setting the table for the other hitters, Holt tries his best to help them out when he’s on the basepaths. Since he’s known to have good speed, Holt likes “to be in the back of their [the pitcher’s] mind. I don’t want to be too attention-drawing, but if I can just have it in the back of their mind to where they slide-step and take a few MPH off their fastball or kind of be thinking ‘hey, is he still here?’ and throw a pitch not where they want to go, I think that will help the hitters a lot. Obviously they don’t want me to steal, so hopefully they [the hitters] will see a lot more fastballs, and if they do hit one in the gap, I have the speed to get home or take that extra base or advantage of things that happen in the field.”
Chicks may dig the long ball, but Holt does the dirty little things that help a ballteam win games. His contact skills and speed combine with his defense in center field to add value to an already deep Akron outfield. Since he’s the new guy on the block, Holt is leaning on his teammates to help him get a pulse on the Eastern League.
“Obviously I’m at a new ballpark, so I have to figure out how to play each field and each hitter,” Holt said. “I have to get some input from [Thomas] Neal or [Nick] Weglarz, or [Jordan] Henry and the guys out there that know the hitters and know the field. I’m kind of just being a follower right now and letting them show me the ropes.”
Holt admits that he doesn’t have much power in his game right now, but he’s hopeful that he might grow into a little more. Considering he’s only 23, there may still be some late-blooming coming his way.
“Everyone has said that power is the last thing that comes,” Holt said. “Sometimes I show it, sometimes I don’t. I feel like everyone knows that the minor leagues is a process and I feel like that will come with time if I keep on just fine-tuning my swing and my approach.”
He may still be a few steps from the ultimate goal of making the big leagues, but right now Holt is just focused on being the best player he can be. “I’m just trying to stay within myself and be who I am,” Holt said. As long as he does “what I can do and let things happen,” there’s no reason to believe that Holt won’t put it all together and become an option for the big league club a few years down the road.
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