Q & A With Joe Holden
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Friday, March 2, 2007

Easily the Cyclones most popular player the past two seasons, outfielder Joe Holden has become a household name in Brooklyn. Trading in the contact-hitting style that made him a fan favorite for a sluggers persona last season, Holden hit a combined 12 home runs after failing to hit any the year before. Sitting down with NY Sports Day for an exclusive interview, Holden shared his thoughts about his season and some of his teammates.

NYSD: Which position player on the Cyclones team do you think has the highest ceiling and why? What do you like about his game and what do you think he needs to work on the most in order to develop into a big leaguer?

Holden: Dustin Martin. He has a lot of potential and as long he continues to get better hell go a long way. Hes always hustling and he hits the ball to all fields, with power. Hes been clutch for us, which is big and hes a solid outfielder.

NYSD: Which pitcher do you think has the highest big league upside and why?

Holden: Joe Smith. I got a chance to see some of his balls move from center field and his slider is probably the best Ive ever seen.

NYSD: Who do you think is the biggest sleeper prospect, position prospect or pitcher? Who do you think will fly under the radar, doesn't get the attention he deserves, but will become a quality big leaguer?

Holden: Jake Ruckle. He might not go out there and throw the hardest, but he has a lot of deception and throws all of his pitches for strikes. If he can stay consistent, hell have a long career.

NYSD: What do you need to work on the most to be ready this season?

Holden: I have to gain about 10- 15 pounds and work on my swing; a lot of hours in the batting cage.

NYSD: What would you say is your biggest strength as a ball player? What do you bring to the field and to your team?

Holden: Im the type of player that just doesnt care where I hit; one, two, eight or nine, I just want to be in the lineup and help the team anyway I can.

NYSD: What did you think of your season last year?

Holden: Up and down; I had a good start in Hagerstown and I wasnt as successful as I would have liked to be here [Brooklyn]. The last month of the season, I was able to raise my average and I never expected to hit 12 homeruns, so Im pretty pleased with that.

NYSD: To give our fans a better idea of the type of player you are, who would you compare your game to at the Major League level and why?

Holden: I really dont know; I have no idea. My favorite player growing up was David Justice, but Im not going to put up the type of numbers he did. I grew up a huge Braves fan when Justice was an All-Star and in little league I played for a team the named the Braves, so if it would be anybody, it would be him.