Kyle Holder entered the Yankees system in 2015, when the Yankees selected him with their second first round pick. At the time of the draft Holder was known as a defensively elite shortstop who would have to really work on his offensive tools. Over the two seasons he has shown some improvements, and finished both the last two seasons strongly.
Statistically Holder’s 2017 season wasn’t too different from the numbers he put in 2016. In 2016, he had posted the following slash-line .290/.323/.347, and he had a wOBA/wRC+/ISO of .308, 93/.057. This season he was promoted to High-A Tampa, and posted the following stats: .271/.317/.350 and had a wOBA/wRC+/ISO of .312/95/.079. Additionally, he posted similar walk and k rates over the past two years. He had a BB% of 4.0 and a K% of 14.2 in 2016, and slightly improved to a 5.9 BB % and a 14 % K% in 2017.
Overall, he slightly improved his 2016 season, and is important to note that he did show more power this year. However, his stats are a bit misleading, because most of his production came in the second half of this season. The first half of season was a real struggle for Holder as he hit for an OPS of .500 and had two stints on the disabled list.
In the second-half he had OPS of .848, and during the final full month of the year he posted an OPS of 1.014. During the second half, he had 8 more doubles and 3 more homers than he did in first half despite playing 8 fewer games. Based off his stats it appears that he made significant strides at the plate, which would greatly affect his future potential.
He’s considered to be an elite defensive shortstop so if he truly did improve his hit tool. Of course, it should be mentioned that he was slightly older than the average pitcher in the Florida State League. Holder will have a lot to prove during the 2018 season where he will probably begin the year at AA Tenton. If his second half performance was a true indication of where his bat is now, then I feel it’s possible for him to eventually make an impact in the big leagues. If his defense is as good as advertised and he’s improving with the stick, I think he has a chance to be a Freddy Galvis like player.
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