Wednesday, August 12, 2015


So right now the Yankees' compensation round pick Kyle Holder (drafted 30th overall) is in Staten Island.

He's a shortstop prospect and as if trying to be the next Yankees shortstop in the post-Jeter era isn't enough to cope with, he doesn't really have a ton of support from the Yankees fan base.
That's not to say that every Yankees fan thinks he's a bust. However, I recall how the moment Holder was selected by the Yankees a large number of Yankees fans immediately thought he was a wasted pick. Saying he's nothing more than a Brendan Ryan. Geez people, what did Holder ever do to you? And roughly two months later there are still people who are against Holder.

Now I'm probably biased because I've actually met Holder in person and have seen him a handful of times but I'm a bit more optimistic. For one thing he was drafted that high for a reason. In contrast to the negative reactions fans have about the Holder pick, David Oppenheimer (the Yankees' Scouting Director) said that he got a lot of texts from scouts saying how great the Holder pick was. Oppenheimer went on to say that Holder's glove work is very similar to that of Omar Vizquel, and that he had a ton of potential to be a great hitter. Now it's not like Oppenheimer is going to turn on a player he drafted with such a high pick, but at the same time he (and his team of scouts and other people involved with player development) have jobs to do which is selecting what they deem to be the best pick, and Kyle Holder was that best pick.
Also according to Pinstriped Prospects the coaching staff that's worked with Holder in Staten Island is really impressed with what they've seen.

On the more negative side of the coin, there are scouts and analysts who've had less than favorable things to say about Holder. Over at Baseball Prospectus, Al Skorupa claims that Holder won't be able to hit enough to be an everyday player and he might end up as a utility guy. Even says that Holder will primarily hit in the bottom of the order in the majors.
To make matters complicated there are some scouts who aren't impressed with Holder's glove either.

It's tough to assess what a player is just based on what they did in college and what they've done in short season ball because the sample size is so limited. And I do not envy the people who get paid to make a call on how a player was in a small sample size and have to make sure it's as accurate as possible. But at the same time I'd really wish the anti-Holder Yankee fans would stop bringing up every negative thing scouts have said about Holder based a few at-bats. Especially when Holder just wrapped up a full season of college ball, and considering how he was a two way player who was a two-sport athlete in high school and junior college (which is to say it wasn't until recently that he became a full time baseball player).

Basically what I'm trying to say is that I'd be more inclined to look into what/how he does next year. Next year he's likely to get bumped up to Charleston and get his first taste of full season ball and we'll have a far bigger sample size to see how much he's improved coming into 2016 and how he improves/what he needs to work on as the season goes on.

At the end of the day I suspect that all of the negativity from the fans has very little to do with Holder himself. No, I suspect it all comes down how there were better players available when the Yankees got to pick again with their second pick. Or at least better in terms of what pre-draft writes ups said about players who were still available by the 30th overall pick. Names like Kyle Funkhouser and Daz Cameron were still on the board and fans probably wanted them instead. Had Holder been scooped up by the Yankees in the second round (assuming he'd last that long) I'm sure the reactions would've been a lot different and the general consensus might've been that it was an okay pick.

(One Of The Songs Holder Has Used As His Walk-Up Song This Year)

Unfortunately (or fortunately if you consider that he still got drafted as a first rounder and got a $1.8 million bonus) for Holder, the Yankees picked him with the compensation pick for losing David Robertson and he has to deal with his own team's fan base trying to stamp the bust label on him.
I'm sure in the grand scheme of things that's not a big problem to Holder himself since he probably has a lot more things on his plate (he even acknowledged that people say what they want), but gee wouldn't it be nice if the fans of the organization he played for actually supported him? Then again what do I know, I'm just a fan who takes low quality videos (note, the Kyle Holder videos seen in this blogpost were all taken by me).

(The Other Song Holder Has Used As His Walk-Up Song This Year)

Also, this was my way of saying, you can add Kyle Holder to my PC guy list. He won't be the guy I create a super collection of, but he will be in the mix somewhere. Hey, gotta find somebody to have Rex rescue in this year's Bowman Draft ;).

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).


  1. Woo-Hoo! It sounds like Rex has been signed on for another season! Can't wait!

    1. Rex has always been here. It's just that the lackluster options available right now make it hard to justify sending him on any sort of mission.

  2. I'm not putting a ton of stock into his offense right now, or his performance as a whole. Would I have loved to see him dominate from the get-go? Yes. But it's his first year working with new coaches in a new league after a long college season. I'm sure he's a bit worn down. Guys like Katoh and Bichette dominated rookie ball, but then couldn't replicate that performance afterward. He just needs to get comfortable, work with the coaches, and go from there.

    I'll be curious to see how he bounces back next year. Even if he does turn into a utility guy down the road (waaay to early for that label), there's still value there.

    1. I agree. 2016 is when the journey really begins, not 2015.

  3. Usually the hard thing to do is actually find a prospect who can stick at short, which from what you said shouldn't be an issue. The hitting tool develops later so if he does figure something out it will turn out to be a value pick at #30.

    1. True. At the very least it's better that he's got a solid glove with adequate hitting abilities as a SS than being a converted anything else whose stats are solid for a SS but not for really any other position.