NEW YORK — Brock Holt is the best all-around player on the defending World Series champions right now. Let that sink in for a moment.
No, Holt isn’t the most talented player on the Boston Red Sox — though we’re learning each game he has more skills than perhaps anyone ever gave him credit for — and only time will tell whether he’s the real deal. But Holt is playing the best baseball of anyone on the team when you factor in all facets of the game, and his effort in Friday’s 6-0 loss to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium reinforced that notion.
Holt made more noise over the first three innings than anyone else in the Red Sox’s lineup would all night. He walked to lead off the game and doubled in the third inning, solidifying himself as Boston’s only player to reach base twice. The Red Sox produced just three hits while being blanked for the seventh time this season.
“I feel good. It’s been a good run,” Holt said after the game. “I’m trying to continue to do what I’ve been doing, stay with my approach and get in a good position to hit and put a good swing on a good pitch.”
Holt keeps finding new ways to make an impact and live up to his highly regarded “baseball player” label. Perhaps his most impressive feat to this point has been his ability to not only learn the outfield on the fly but also patrol the area with incredible effectiveness. Holt made two more tremendous defensive plays in Friday’s loss.
Holt first robbed Brian Roberts with a leaping catch at the wall in the second inning. Even if the ball wouldn’t have left the yard, it still represented an excellent play, especially for someone cutting his teeth in right field.
He then robbed Carlos Beltran with a diving catch in shallow right-center field in the eighth inning. The Red Sox were well on their way to suffering their sixth loss in eight games by that point, but there was no way Holt was going to lift his foot off the gas.
It’s funny. Holt going back to the wall in the second inning was shades of Baltimore’s Tony Tarasco in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS, though even Jeffrey Maier probably would have had second thoughts about getting in Holt’s way.