Brock Holt doing Brock Holt things with a three-run home run on Saturday night. Photo credit: AP/Gail Burton
[Update: Brock Holt went 0-4 with two strikeouts in Monday’s game and none of the below changes.]
The Red Sox want more Brock Holts. Oh what a thought, ‘more Brock Holts.’ It sounds so wonderful. It also sounds so sensible.
The obvious comparison is Ben Zobrist, and that’s quite the compliment and complementary piece for a team with playoff aspirations.
For six years, the success of the diamond hopping, two-time all-star Zobrist was the most annoying aspect of the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He sat comfortably behind the still top spots: their fan base’s complete disregard for the sanctity of cowbells and their home field "The Trop," a stadium with the name and likability of a venereal disease.
So when Ben Cherrington says he wants to draft and develop more Brock Holts, I, and every other Red Sox fan with a heart, say yes please.
As offensive talent continues to run scarce and injuries occur at the rate of inflation, players who perform at the plate and provide depth at multiple positions are precious gems. Not every one will play seven like Brock Holt, but that’s like trying to catch lightning with your bare hand, twice.
You could make the case Brock Holt was the 2014 Red Sox MVP. Sure it's not the most flattering title, but pair that with his eighth place finish in ROY voting and you begin to understand the value he brings to SEVEN spots on the field.
Holt entered Monday night’s game at right field, a position he learned a year ago and one of the six he’s played this season. He brought with him a .457/.513/.600 line. Yes, that is in 40 plate appearances. No, I’m not entirely convinced he can’t maintain that level of play all season.
It's the wholehearted delusion confidence, coming from a normally rational, skeptic mind, that captures the magic of Brock Holt. He transcends the basic laws of nature. And we want more of him? I don't think it's humanly possible, but give it the ol' college try.
Yes, his ability to play seven positions effectively, get on base, hit righties and lefties equally well, and even successfully put the ball in play make him the epitome of a platoon player. So by all mean look for more players who come close to that.
But above all, I get excited to yell Brock Holt’s name with my fists in the air whenever he comes to bat or does something well. And by my calculations, the latter happens 12.4 times per nine innings. Bill James, don’t bother checking my math. It’s right.
If the Red Sox want to get more Brock Holts, and judging from what Michael Silverman brilliantly calls the ‘Holt-ification’ of Sean Coyle, Deven Merrero, and Travis Shaw, they do, we say, Godspeed. It’s a sound developmental strategy and hell, once you strike gold, you just want to keep digging for more.