Bidding for spot, Holt brings speed and energy

Impressive outfielder in competition for Reds' Opening Day roster

Bidding for spot, Holt brings speed and energy

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds outfield candidate Tyler Holt has six professional home runs in his career since 2010. None of them came during his limited big league experience of 50 games. Holt also hasn't gone deep during Spring Training this year.

Leading left-field candidates Scott Schebler and Adam Duvall are the power hitters in the group. Holt, 27, is content with what he might bring to the roster in other ways.

"I can't worry about how many home runs," Holt said. "Duvall is one of my good friends on this team. I can't worry about how many balls he puts in the seats. That's his job. My job is to get on base, steal some bases and let him drive me in. Play great defense and stick to that game plan. I'm not going to worry about what anybody else does. Hopefully if I make the squad, I can contribute to some W's this year."

Reds Spring Training information

Including his replacing Billy Hamilton in the sixth inning in Sunday's 9-3 loss to the D-backs, Holt has played 11 games in center field and two each in the corner outfield spots. This spring, he's batting .273 (9-for-33) with two doubles and three RBIs.

Holt notched a single into center field in his lone at-bat vs. Arizona. On Friday vs. the Brewers, it was his two-run double in the top of the eighth inning that was the difference-maker for a Reds win.

Cincinnati added Holt at an odd time of the season in 2015 -- almost right at the end. He was claimed off waivers on Sept. 27 after the Indians designated him for assignment. Holt batted .302/.386/.370 with 25 steals in 101 games for Triple-A Columbus, and he only got nine games in the big leagues with Cleveland.

The Reds needed a center fielder because Hamilton hurt his shoulder and needed surgery.

"I got picked up off waivers and they could have said, 'we'll see you at Spring Training,'" Holt said. "But they needed a guy and it was good to show my face and get that week in. I was a little down from getting DFA'd by the Indians, so I went home and started my offseason and then [the Reds] gave me a call saying, 'We need you.'"

Holt went 1-for-11 in his five games for the Reds last season, but he has shown manager Bryan Price plenty to like this spring.

"I'll tell you, he's an energy guy that can defend," Price said. "He's given us good, competitive at-bats. We didn't see much of him last year. He was kind of a guy we signed last year to help us fill out our roster in September. And he's opened my eyes with the way he's played. I've been really happy to see that."

If Duvall and Schebler form the main platoon in left field, which seems likely at this point, there are still one or two bench spots open for an extra outfielder. That could come down to Holt, Yorman Rodriguez or Rule 5 Draft pick Jake Cave. Like Holt, Cave has a similar makeup and style of hitting.

"There are limited spots with a bunch of guys," Holt said. "But you're going to have that in any organization. Let your play dictate that. Have a good positive attitude. If I can work hard every day, good things will happen."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.