George Brett was once asked if he needed to try harder; instead, Brett said he needed to try easier.
“He’s done a good job he hasn’t tried to do too much, he’s just trying to get his base hits,” Bell said. “When you simply stay within yourself the extraordinary tends to happen.”
Holder has indeed been extraordinary collecting nine hits in 20 at-bats this fall. And while he admitted to seeing the ball a little better recently, he thinks his competition is the reason behind his success.
“When you start facing the best pitching it is a challenge,” Holder said. “But they make you better.”
Bell agreed with his infielder adding that when players such as Holder face better talent and continue to improve it speaks volumes about what he can be as a player.
“I think anytime that you have the opportunity to compete against better talent it is only going to make you better,” Bell said
The Fall league has been a continuation of a hot second half for Holder who spent the first half of the season on and off the DL. It has given him an opportunity to get some extra at-bats before the offseason sets in.
“It’s never fun missing games cause of injury I was dealing with a lot of injuries in my hand, on my wrist which was affecting me offensively,” Holder said. “Once I came back in the second half I was able to play at 100% which was nice and started seeing some results by the end of the season.”
During his time in the minors Holder is a .271 career hitter, so if he can continue his success at the plate in the fall league, it will indeed open some eyes around the league.
“Hitting for me is always a challenge,” Holder said. “(I do) Whatever I can do to make me better, and come out here facing the best of the best going to make it a little easier on me in the future.”
Bell thinks that the key to Holder’s early success is the work that Holder has put in throughout the season and now into the fall league.
“He’s putting a lot of work in,” Bell said. “He’s striving for excellence, he’s working easier, he’s trying easier, and if you do that, you tend to simplify (and) you tend just to let it happen.”
While the offensive success is new, Holder has always been viewed as an above average defensive talent as he was named to MLB pipeline’s all-defensive team back in January.
The infielder does not take this success for granted as he thinks that his fielding can get even better and is taking steps to make that a reality this fall.
“I’ve put a lot of work into how good my defense can be,” Holder said. “But there’s still work to be done got to learn some more things at third and second and always got to improve at shortstop.”
One of the best parts of the fall league for Holder has been working with Bell.
“It’s great, Jay is an awesome guy,” Holder said. “Being around the game a long time and getting to play in the big leagues for such a long time he has the background of a phenomenal coach and mentor.”
This player-coach relationship is nothing new as they were with the Tampa Yankees this past season, giving Bell a unique opportunity to watch Holder grow.
“From the start of the season to the end of the season I saw some great improvement in his game he’s an extremely talented guy,” Bell said. “Defense is probably his forte, offensively he did a fantastic job for me and improved, and he’s got a future in this game.”