Brock Holt: The Prize at the Bottom of the Box
Of all the people involved in the recent six-player trade between the Red Sox and Pirates, Brock Holt has received the least attention. But Holty, as he’ll surely be called by an unimaginative teammates, deserves some attention, and not just because he sounds like he should be making movies with Chest Rockwell and Dirk Diggler.
Holt’s a middle infielder who, at age 24, hit .338 last year in AA/AAA/MLB. That’s after he’s quickly climbed through the minors while putting up a .317 average (with little power) and playing mostly SS. So why is no one excited about this guy? I think it boils down to two things:
1) Holt’s year was spread across three levels, with his hottest hitting all coming while he was at AAA Indianapolis. So rather than seeing his year as an impressive .338/.397/.441 while being promoted twice, people saw a pretty good year at AA plus a fluke at AAA (and a meaningless cup of coffee in the bigs). Holt’s .432 batting average was such a ridiculous number that it makes people completely dismiss it rather than put it in proper context.
2) Many seem certain that Holt cannot handle SS, in large part based on their own observations of Holt playing a 123 innings of 2B in the Majors. But there many reasons to think that Holt can, at least, stand at the shortstop position. First, there’s the fact that Holt has played about 2/3 of his minor league games there, including 107 out of 150 game this year. At the very least, the Pirates think he may be able to play there. Then there’s the ringing scouting endorsements. In this rookie review, John Sickels says he “won’t kill you at shortstop.” And that’s not all—here’s Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has called Holt “good enough to get by at SS.” Hello, Mark Belanger, Jr.
Even if it turns out that Holt can only play 2B, he still looks like he could be an averagish starter. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do. Maybe this time the Red Sox will be the team receiving Freddy Sanchez.
Posted: January 06, 2013 at 03:53 PM | 29 comment(s)
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