June has been a bright month for Skye Bolt.
The 27-year-old outfield prospect entered the month with only a dozen career plate appearances in the majors, in seven games spread over two different seasons. But he got the call to help out on the Oakland A’s bench a couple weeks ago, and since then he’s played in nine of the team’s 13 games in June, including three starts. On Sunday he blasted his first MLB homer.
That dinger is his only hit so far in 13 tries wearing green-and-gold, but at least he has a highlight at the plate. Now he’s got one in the field as well.
In addition to some power in his switch-hitting bat, Bolt is also billed as a plus defender at all three outfield positions. With starting CF Ramon Laureano on the injured list, Bolt is the top fielder of the remaining group and has drawn the CF assignment every time he’s appeared for Oakland. He did so again when he started against the Angels on Tuesday, and in the 6th inning he finally got to show off his glove.
"Man, what'd you do?"— Oakland A's (@Athletics) June 16, 2021
"I went SKYE DIVING" pic.twitter.com/D9DFnSCRSF
Let’s see that ... in instant replay.
Slow-mo of Skye Bolt's superman catch ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/46QF8UKpI7— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) June 16, 2021
“Skye Bolt acting like he was shot out of the bottom of a cumulonimbus,” said broadcaster and linguistic genius Dallas Braden.
For an idea of how much ground Bolt zapped across to make this grab, check out the diagram below.
At 93 mph off Jared Walsh’s bat, and with that launch angle, this liner falls for a hit 51% of the time according to Statcast, and that’s before considering how far Bolt streaked over from his shifted left-center position.
He hasn’t seized an everyday role, nor made a major impact for the A’s yet, but he’s at least logging some time in the majors after a long wait on the farm. Now he has a thunderous defensive highlight to show for it, and one that fits his name perfectly — he bolted over, then leapt into the skye to catch it.