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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

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   1. Morton's Fork Posted: January 06, 2013 at 09:05 PM (#4340350)
Nobody's a bigger fan of Dustin Pedroia than I. And luck is just luck.

But if I were the Sox FO, I'd (secretly) like to have a plan just in case the Petunia breaks one of the oblique bones in his kneecap while making the prettiest pivot play you've ever seen. On May 3rd. And needs another pin inserted.

Holt's a decent gamble to fill that bill, cheap and with a much higher ceiling than the previously available alternatives.

God forbid.

   2. Darren Posted: January 06, 2013 at 09:22 PM (#4340359)
That's better than their previous plan, which was to ask Pedroia what to do. ;)
   3. Dale Sams Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:11 AM (#4340454)
Mark Belanger had 8 GG's and once put up a 4.9 dWAR season.

edit:I'm sure you meant offensively, it's just kind of a weird analogy.
   4. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4340583)
Guys of this ilk (high BABIP, below-10% walk rate, low ISO) rarely find success at the major league level for long. That's why Holt was thrown into this trade in the first place. Sure, he's superficially comparable to Pedroia, but (a) Pedroia showed more power in the minors then Holt ever has and (b) Pedroia was also younger at every level of the minors.

And he's not a shortstop for the long term, the comments by Sickels and Hurdle notwithstanding. He doesn't have either the range or the arm.

-- MWE
   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:39 AM (#4340589)
The main reason Holt played short for the Pirates in the minors is that they didn't have any real shortstops at his level and you have to put somebody there or else you'll give up a ton of hits on grounders to the left side.

He's a great kid, and I wish him the best, but Darren's take here just seems way too optimistic to me.
   6. Dan Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:50 AM (#4340592)
Mark Belanger had 8 GG's and once put up a 4.9 dWAR season.

edit:I'm sure you meant offensively, it's just kind of a weird analogy.


You probably need to get your sarcasm meters recalibrated.
   7. The District Attorney Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4340597)
BROCK HOLT!
   8. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:25 AM (#4340601)
I like that the Sox got Holt in the deal, it's pretty easy to see a scenario where is a useful player. What's interesting though is that he seems to make a better caddy for Iglesias than for Drew. A Drew/Ciriaco combination makes a bit more sense to me with Pedro's strengths being more complimentary to Drew while Holt is kind of a Drew-lite (very lite).
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:26 AM (#4340602)
To clarify, it's not that Holt makes it a great deal, but any time you can get a throw in player who has some value that's a good thing.
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:31 AM (#4340604)
Guys of this ilk (high BABIP, below-10% walk rate, low ISO) rarely find success at the major league level for long.
I'd be interested to see the data on this. Holt's got a .100+ Iso, which is low but not terribly so, and his just-slightly-below 10% walk rate (combined with a below 15% K rate) doesn't seem like a problem.

I'd be more worried, I think, about a guy close to Holt's profile who had more walks and Ks and fewer hits. That's a guy who is significantly at risk to lose his walks as major league pitchers challenge him, a guy who might be building his walk rate off the crap breaking pitches of most AA/AAA hurlers.

I buy that high-BABIP prospects are risky, but I'd guess that's more because it's possible to get a little hit-lucky in 1500 minor league PA, facing minor league defenses on minor league fields. Holt's excellent 2012 was significantly a BABIP season - .385. He had a .340 high minors BABIP before 2012, so he's been good at getting hits. Is that a skill he'll sustain in the majors? It's at least reasonable to be skeptical.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 07, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4340607)
I like that the Sox got Holt in the deal, it's pretty easy to see a scenario where is a useful player. What's interesting though is that he seems to make a better caddy for Iglesias than for Drew. A Drew/Ciriaco combination makes a bit more sense to me with Pedro's strengths being more complimentary to Drew while Holt is kind of a Drew-lite (very lite).
Also, Holt has all of his options remaining while Ciriaco is out. So you can easily stash Holt in AAA. Ciriaco has a great skill set to be a utility infielder and pinch-runner, and he has practically zero upside to be anything beyond that. I'd guess that Holt is much more likely to contribute to the 2013 Sox as a backup 2B or maybe a backup 3B than as a true utility guy or a caddy for Drew.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4340646)
Maybe they can mold him into a poor man's Zobrist.
   13. Darren Posted: January 07, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4340653)
I dragged both Vlad and Emeigh into Sox Therapy, so I must be doing something right. Just to be clear, I'm not super-optimistic about Holt, I just think he's an good enough prospect to be interesting. I wouldn't ever compare him to Pedroia. I just would note that in a world where Uggla's .220 .348 .384 and Kipnis's .257 .335 .379 make them 3-fWAR players, he could be a pretty good little player.
   14. Darren Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4340677)
   15. Darren Posted: January 07, 2013 at 09:21 PM (#4341319)
And yes, the Belanger thing was sarcasm.
   16. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: January 08, 2013 at 04:56 AM (#4341760)
Sickels also has some nice things to say about Red Sox prospects (particularly Cechinni), and Callis seems to really like the farm system as a whole.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 08, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4341792)
#5 system in MLB, per Callis. I've been figuring top 10, so I'm happy to get at least one confirmation. The Sox system hasn't been this good since the days of Buccholz/Ellsbury in aught-seven.

Agreed that Sickels' aggressive rating of Cecchini was a big positive. Sad to see Manuel Margot only in the "also exists" list. Travis Shaw just an unranked C+. The 2012 draft class looks pretty underwhelming, but I don't think anyone was particularly whelmed on draft day, either.

The other name to take away there is Cody Kukuk, a 2011 signability drop guy (7th round pick, 2nd round bonus) that I lost track of. Big lefty with a good fastball and slider, working on a third pitch but that's just fine when you're not yet 20. He threw in just five games for the instructional league club, but 16 K, 3 BB, 3 H in 10 innings isn't going to remove any prospect-y sheen. Sickels was impressed with his development - Kukuk is a Midwestern draftee, so he would be expected to be a bit less polished than a kid from one of the Southern baseball states.
   18. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 08, 2013 at 09:16 AM (#4341795)
I think Margot is just too far away to be reasonably ranked particularly high. I can't imagine there are many guys in baseball entering their age 18 season who are on any lists save for the high 2012 draft picks. Once he spends a portion of a season in the States I think we'll get a better sense of the consensus on Margot.
   19. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4341804)
Just to be clear, I'm not super-optimistic about Holt, I just think he's an good enough prospect to be interesting.


He's definitely good enough to be interesting. It's just that he's interesting as a 2B, not as a SS. If things go right, he could have a nice long career as a Jeff Keppinger-style bench bat and fill-in starter.
   20. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 09:38 AM (#4341808)
I just don't want a bunch of Sox fans to get upset at him because of unrealistic expectations, y'know?
   21. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 08, 2013 at 09:46 AM (#4341814)
What? As long as he plays like Pedroia did in 2007 we'll be fine. Anything less and he's getting Valentined. :-)

Seriously I expect he'll either be popular in the way that Ciriaco was last year (nobody who becomes a useful player) or he'll be ignored in Pawtucket. I doubt anyone is going to be too riled up about him. I'll try not to comment on him during my Spring Training trip (53 days away!)
   22. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 08, 2013 at 09:50 AM (#4341816)
Oh god no!
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: January 08, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4341936)
Could this guy be taught 3B? If Middlebrooks has a big injury, is it Ciriaco or bust or am I forgetting someone?
   24. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4341959)
Could this guy be taught 3B? If Middlebrooks has a big injury, is it Ciriaco or bust or am I forgetting someone?


Mauro Gomez!

But yeah, it's probably Ciriaco or bust. The only alternative might be Iglesias to SS and Stephen Drew to 3B though I don't know if that's any kind of improvement over Drew/Ciriaco.

Drew Sutton is an NRI and I've long believed that 3rd base is a natural move if one has a catcher who may need to be moved. The skill set (quick feet and hands, strong arm) seem complimentary and obviously I'm thinking of Lavarnway as a fallback. I've never understood the rush to move from C to 1B when it seems to me that 3rd would work just as well.

Jorge Cantu. As I typed this all out I thought "wait, didn't Gomes play second for the Rays years ago?" But no, I was thinking of Jorge Friggen' Cantu. I got my free swinging right-handed hitters mixed up.
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: January 08, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4341973)
I guess the infield corners are easier spots to fill on the fly than some other positions, but the Sox are pretty thin there with Napoli still unsigned.
   26. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: January 08, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4342029)
I just realized that Gomes and Cantu are different guys. I hadn't made that distinction earlier.
   27. booond Posted: January 08, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4342052)
If things go right, he could have a nice long career as a Jeff Keppinger-style bench bat and fill-in starter.


Keppinger was my off-the-top comp with the exception that Keppinger is right-handed and kills LHP. My guess is that Holt won't play that up on RHP as a left-handed bat. He'll likely K more and walk more, too, but a fifth infielder who can play the middle and sub at third, when needed, and hits .280 with a few walks can find a job on most teams.
   28. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 08, 2013 at 03:00 PM (#4342126)
Keppinger's not a bad comp, although Holt doesn't have quite that much pop.

-- MWE
   29. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 08, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4342198)
Keppinger's not a bad comp, although Holt doesn't have quite that much pop.


Well, neither does Keppinger really, 2012 is a bit of an anomaly. Take out his 241 AB's in 2007 and his 2012 slugging is .040 higher than any other year.

I know you can't compare minor league stats all that well, but they do look similar their too. .322/.375/.421 in 10 season for Keppinger, .317/.381/.427 in 4 seasons for Holt.

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