Sports

New Shortstop Takes Next Step To Bigs

Kyle Holder Plans to Impact SI Yanks

By Jose Rivera

In the 2015 first-year player draft the New York Yankees selected Kyle Holder, a shortstop out of the University of San Diego. Holder is now manning the position that was held by his idol in the city where he’s dreamed of playing.

Every kid who grows up with a passion for baseball envisions himself being called up to the majors, and in June Kyle Holder’s career has changed, placing him now under the microscope of New York City.

“It was definitely a blessing to be drafted by a prestigious organization like this,” said Holder, “It was a crazy experience and I loved every moment of it and now it’s just time to get to work.”

The Yankees selected Holder with the pick in the first round of the draft. The Yankees had the fortunate opportunity to have two first round picks and it could not have come at a better time in the franchise’s history.

Everyone knows the Yankees are an aging team with aging players and need to start injecting some young talent into the organization.

Many would say the Yankees need to rebuild, but when you play in a market like New York City, you do not get that luxury. The fans and media will get on you quick and will make sure you know how they feel.

Luckily for the Yankees, many good young prospects could be on the way and Holder, who is just starting his professional career for the yanks, could be another good young talent to keep your eyes on.

All eyes will be on Holder this year as he plays for the “Baby Bombers,” better known as the Staten Island Yankees. Holder, who is about six-feet tall and 185 pounds is known more for his defense and looks to improve on his hitting this season.

Most important is the focus he’s putting on his transition as he leaves family and friends behind on the west coast to achieve his dreams of playing in the MLB.

“It’s always hard leaving the family, friends, and even coaches back at home. But this is what I always wanted to do since I was a little kid.” Holder said. “Bottom line is that this is a dream come true to be drafted and I love it out here.”

Holder was recruited by seven universities before choosing San Diego and was no stranger to success. In high school he finished the season with a .340 batting average and helped lead his team to the finals. In his last year at San Diego, Holder hit .298 in 52 games and also had three home runs with 29 runs batted in.

But things will be different now. Kyle is now going to play for an organization that drips with memorable moments and is enriched with legends.

One has to ask if he feels the pressure of potentially filling the shoes of his childhood idol, The Captain, Derek Jeter.

Holder says. “I try not to think about that kind of stuff when fans mention it,” he chuckled. “It’s definitely just a distraction about how I’m supposed to fill his shoes and I don’t really think about that.”

“Derek Jeter is definitely one of the role models that I looked up to and he’s a fantastic player, and a sure Hall of Famer and I just try not to look at this as replacing him,” he continued.

“I’m just out here trying to get better every day and most importantly trying to help my team win.”

Holder is also excited that he’s gotten the opportunity to play in Staten Island and is using this time to look at it as a preview for the atmosphere he’s expecting in the future. He’s even taken time to enjoy some of NYC’s special offerings.

“I love everything that goes on here in Staten Island it’s a cool place to play and to overlook the park and see Manhattan. And just playing in front of this fan-base and playing with this group of guys and these coaches have been great. I love it. And to answer the pizza question, yeah, New York Pizza is definitely better than California pizza.”

Currently Holder and the S.I. Yankees are in first place and are marching down the stretch to a playoff push.

Holder is hitting .186 on the season with 8 RBI’s and has flashed amazing defensive plays.

Fans should be excited to see him in the future.

“I’m a guy who works hard; work ethic will always be there. I’m going to always hustle down the baselines, [be great defensively], and do whatever I can to help my team win.”

 

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