Brock Holt Starting To Force Way Into Red Sox’s Lineup With Production


Apr 20, 2015

BOSTON — Brock Holt’s doing it again.

An opportunity presented itself last season and Holt ran with it, eventually earning a spot in the Boston Red Sox’s starting lineup through his versatility and consistent performance. Now, even with a lineup spot tougher to come by, the energetic super-utility player again is forcing his skipper’s hand.

“There’s no denying he’s earning playing time,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Monday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. “Versatility aside, he’s swinging the bat well. He’s playing with good energy, running the bases well. We want to keep that involved as much as possible.”

Holt entered Monday hitting .500 (12-for-24) with five RBIs and three runs scored in seven games. He had only one plate appearance through Boston’s first four games, but he, like last season, hit the ground running when called upon and has started six of the club’s last nine games — at four different positions.

In essence, Holt is continuing what he started in 2014. And that bodes well for the Red Sox, whose biggest strength — especially when compared to last season — could be their depth. Holt can spell guys all over the diamond, in turn keeping them fresh, and he’s also capable of doing so in a productive manner, making him a rare breed and a valuable commodity across Major League Baseball.

“I think you’re always looking for matchups, whether that’s he or Daniel (Nava). You’re looking for some balance in the lineup,” Farrell said. “I think we’ve done it in center field as well with (Mookie Betts’) spot. That’s not to suggest it’s going to be a platoon of any kind, but the performance and the versatility has you looking at ways to get him in the lineup, yes.”

Holt has played second base, third base, shortstop and center field this season, as of Monday. He has not committed an error in his last 37 games (35 starts) dating back to Aug. 3, 2014 — a span of 130 total chances at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, left field, center field and right field — and has committed only one error over his last 64 games (62 starts).

While Holt’s versatility itself makes him important piece in Boston’s 2015 puzzle, his competency at each position is what separates him from other players who fulfill a similar role across the league.

Perhaps as impressively, Holt relishes the uncertainty of his role. He told before Sunday’s game against the O’s that while some players prefer the stability that comes with carving out a fixed place within a starting lineup, he takes pride in being able to wear a number of hats for the Red Sox.

Of course, as Holt mentioned, he never envisioned playing first base or the outfield in the majors while coming up, first through the Pittsburgh Pirates organization and then through the Red Sox system. But hey, that’s Brock, just rolling with the punches and doing his thing.


Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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