Tampa's Holder stays hot with four-hit game

Yankees shortstop prospect has 17 hits in seven-game stretch

Kyle Holder is batting .548 (17-for-31) with six RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak. (Cliff Welch/MiLB.com)

By Gerard Gilberto / MiLB.com | August 25, 2017 10:53 PM

There aren't many Minor Leaguers having a better time at the plate over the past 10 days than Kyle Holder of Class A Advanced Tampa.

The 23-year-old recorded the second four-hit game of his career and scored a run in the Yankees' 4-3 win over Dunedin on Friday night at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. He's hitting .548 (17-for-31) over his last seven games to lift his batting average 25 points to .267. 

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"Anytime you can see success like that at the plate is a great feeling," Holder said. "I think it's just getting a good pitch and not trying to do too much with it. Hitting the ball hard and finding a pitch in the zone and trying to square it up in the middle of the field. Just letting the game come to me and not overthinking and not trying to do too much."

The shortstop prospect's first four-hit performance came on July 8, 2016, with Class A Charleston. Multiple injuries to the same wrist forced him to the disabled list twice this year, with the second stint ending on July 12. Over 99 games in his third professional season, the San Diego native has three homers, two triples, 14 doubles, 41 RBIs and 38 runs scored.

"It was good to say something and be able to get treatment on it quick," he said. "Definitely makes hitting a lot easier when you're not feeling pain."

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Only Justin Yurchak of Great Falls in the Rookie-level Pioneer League and Wilson Soriano with Lancaster in the Class A Advanced California League hit at a better clip than Holder since Aug. 15. The 2015 first-round pick has also registered hits in 17 of his past 19 games, creating a 38-point spike in his batting average over that span.

"I'm just trying to simplify things. That was the biggest thing," Holder said. "That's about it. It makes it a lot easier when you try and simplify it like that and hit the ball hard up the middle. When you realize that's your approach every at-bat, good things happen."

With one out in the first inning, Holder blooped a single to the opposite field off right-hander Jordan Romano. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder followed a base hit by Yankees No. 4 prospect Estevan Florial to start the third with a knock to right and scored on Chris Gittens' homer to left-center.

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Holder collected his third single off Romano with two outs in the fourth and picked up another two-out hit against Alonzo Gonzalez in the sixth before bouncing out to second in the ninth.

Rehabbing big leaguer Matt Holliday, who has been out of New York's lineup since Aug. 6 with a back injury, finished 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.

No. 2 Blue Jays prospect Bo Bichette cracked a solo shot and Connor Panas bashed solo homers in each of his first two at-bats for Dunedin.

Gerard Gilberto is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @GerardGilberto4. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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