Ryan Holgate is an advanced college bat that teams love. That alone will push him into the top-100 conversation especially as the draft is not brimming with experienced collegiate hitters. Let’s take a look at what the Arizona Wildcats right fielder brings to the table.
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Ryan Holgate, OF, Arizona
Weight: 190 lbs.
2019: 53 G – .240/.378/.437, 7 HR
2020: 15 G – .377/.459/.547, 1 HR, 1 SB
2021: 63 G – .351/.421/.576, 11 HR, 3 SB
Holgate has worked hard on getting more athletic since High School when he was drafted in the 32nd round by the Minnesota Twins. He honored his commitment to Arizona and after an up-and-down freshman year, he started raking. While the power numbers aren’t as gaudy as some hitters, Holgate is a polished hitter and has a knack for barreling the ball.
The bat is what will move Holgate up the ladder. He has excellent balance when loading up and a smooth swing that generates some gap power. Make no mistake though, the Wildcat can blast one when he turns on it. He has excellent lower-leg drive and torque along with a natural lift to his swing path. The right fielder went for a little more pop this season and still maintained an impressive 18.6 percent K rate. There is no doubt Holgate can get to his power in-game even if his K rate increases as he makes his way to the majors.
While there isn’t much speed there, the California native holds his own in the outfield. He has 106 games of experience in right field with Arizona and should stick there for a while. He has improved his jump on the ball and should be an average to above-average defender at either corner outfield position.
Holgate really doesn’t do anything poorly. His speed is not great but he isn’t going to clog the bases and he has the baseball IQ to limit bad decisions. His arm is average and it may play better in left field, although some scouts think he is destined for first base. However, he should be at least average wherever a team wants to put him in the field.
Pro Comparison: Michael Conforto
Conforto is of similar size and holds his own in the outfield. The hitting profile definitely justifies the comparison as Conforto’s career slash of .257/.358/.476 with a home run every 22 PAs seems right on target to where I think Holgate will wind up. Conforto also has a 2/1 K/BB rate which fits in with the former Wildcat’s profile. The Mets outfielder also made it to the majors just a year after he was drafted. I could see a similar ascension for Holgate if he continues to hit well in the minors.
Draft Projection: Round 3, Pick 95, Cleveland Indians
For the Indians, this is their fourth pick. After taking prep outfielder Jay Allen in the second round, they now go to someone who can help their lineup in short order. Holgate will fit in fine at Progressive Field and should be giving that starting staff some run support by the end of 2022.
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