Q&A: Brooklyn's Joe Holden

Wantagh, N.Y. native Joseph Holden is off to a rolling start for the Brooklyn (A) Cyclones, hitting .354 with 10 stolen bases in 31 games entering Thursday's action. The 21-year-old joined Inside Pitch's Bryan Hoch recently (Premium Content):

I was talking with (Cyclones hitting coach) Donovan Mitchell and he says that you're a much better hitter during games than in batting practice. Is there any reason for that?

(Holden smiles) I don't really know, but during a game, my concentration level is higher. I'm more relaxed. People say that during a game they're more tense, but during games I feel like I belong there. I'm more relaxed.

You're off to a good start with the Cyclones. What have your first few weeks as a pro been like?

So far, it's been great. The first couple of weeks were frustrating, but ever since I got a fresh start, I've done real well. That's all you've got to do, is go out there and the most important thing is to have fun.

How does this compare to what you expected coming in?

I didn't expect the fans to be so supportive. We get almost 8,000 people a game. It's been great. I really have no complaints.

Now, you were probably in high school when the Cyclones started up. Did you ever think that playing here might be a possibility?

Oh, absolutely not. Especially because in high school and my first couple of years of college, I was four or five inches smaller. It probably wasn't until about two years ago that I finally hit my growth spurt. Back in high school, I would have had no idea that I'd be standing here where I am today.

What were some of your favorite achievements at Molloy (N.Y.) College?

I would say it was my freshman year, going in there and not really planning to start. Luckily I had a good start and wound up winning Rookie of the Year, so after that it was just up.

What was draft day like this year for you?

I probably had 10 friends over and my whole family, and we were just sitting in the house listening to the radio on MLB.com. Finally, I heard my name called (in the 21st round, 629th overall) and it was the Mets, and I guess my father kind of broke down in tears. It was the Mets who'd drafted me and they were his favorite team growing up, so I can't even imagine the emotions he was going through. It was great.

For more with Brooklyn Cyclones outfielder Joe Holden, be sure to pick up the September 2005 issue of Inside Pitch Magazine.

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