Holt on predicting Benintendi homer: "I looked at AC and I said, 'Hey, Benny's going way back here.' And he looked at me and said, 'Yeah?' And I said, 'Yeah, second deck.' I don't know why I said that. I just had a feeling. And he did it. So Benny made me look good."
This is the second time in the last week that Holt has made headlines for something he did that wasn’t a play in the field. On Memorial Day, he gave Jackie Bradley Jr. a hug in center field after Bradley made a sensational leaping catch.
Holt is having fun and loving life playing for the team with the most wins in baseball. On top of his lovable personality, he’s quietly putting up his best numbers since he was an All-Star in 2015. In fact, through 30 games that year, he was slashing .297/.379/.429 with 22 strikeouts, seven doubles, and 11 runs scored. Through the same amount of games this year, he’s improved all those numbers. He’s slashing .310/.384/.448 with only 13 strikeouts, nine doubles, and 12 runs.
These numbers are extremely encouraging to look at. With Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts on the DL, the Red Sox need someone to fill in at their positions. Holt can fill in at both, as he is the most versatile player on the roster. They also have Eduardo Nunez and Blake Swihart as utility players, but they aren’t producing in nearly the same way that Holt is.
While Holt’s production is surely evidence of skill, his homerun prediction is just evidence of good observation skills. With the way that Andrew Benintendi has been swinging the bat over the last month, it wasn’t really out of nowhere to say that he was going to hit a homerun.
After an uncharacteristically poor April, and after letting his batting average drop as low as .239 on May 4, Benintendi has brought his average all the way up to .294 in under a month. And like a magnet, he’s brought the rest of his stats up along with his average.
Over the last 30 days, Benintendi is in the top three on the team for all of the major offensive stats (min. 80 ABs). This is extremely important, given that Betts has been out and will be out for at least another week. During Betts’ absence, Benintendi has been batting leadoff, where he’s batting .370 with seven RBI and a 1.192 OPS. These types of numbers will definitely suffice in Betts’ place.
It will be important that both Holt and Benintendi keep up their production and solid play while two of the Red Sox’ stars nurse injuries. There’s really no reason that they shouldn’t, either. These kinds of numbers are exactly what the Red Sox saw in Benintendi when they drafted him and sped him through the minors. So while we get to watch in awe as he hits mammoth homers, we really shouldn’t be too surprised at how good he is. And while Holt isn’t this good, he will still put up solid numbers, fill in wherever they need him and bring great heart and personality to this already lovable Red Sox bunch.
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