Ailing and out of contention, The Indians are going young.
25 year old outfielder Tyler Holt has been promoted from Triple-A, joining 24 year old utility-man Zach Walters as the replacements for veteran first baseman and outfielder Nick Swisher and David Murphy, each of whom has been placed on the disabled list.
This will mark Holt’s third stint for the Tribe this season after the first two lasted only one plate appearance apiece. Drafted out of FSU in 2011, Holt was considered a steal by some in the tenth round and signed for a well-above-slot $500,000 signing bonus.
He was a disappointment through his first three minor league seasons, though, never hitting above .267 or knocking out more than a pair of home runs, but he’s had a breakout 2014. Since being promoted to Triple-A Columbus on May 26, he hit .311/.420/.405 with two home runs and nearly as many walks (39) as strikeouts (44). Fleet of foot, his defense in center is an asset, though most of his playing time this season will probably come in left or right. All-Star Center-fielder Michael Brantley stands as the Tribe’s only productive and healthy outfielder.
Walters, who started in left field last night and went 0-3 with a walk, was acquired at the deadline from Washington for shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. A former ninth round pick by the Diamondbacks, Walters has played shortstop, third base, second base, and left field during his brief major league tenure, during which he has hit .220 with three home runs in 50 at bats. He found his power stroke last year when he hit 29 home runs for Syracuse, the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate, and he has kept it up this season. In 67 games between Syracuse and Columbus, he slugged .619 with 17 home runs, while also sporting a professional-high .311 average, and a .361 on base percentage, his best clip since 2011.
Though, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo did not rank him among the Indians’ top 20 prospects, he had been listed 14th in the Nationals organization prior to the trade. Perception around the game appears to be that