2014 Red Sox awards roundtable: Brock Holt unanimous pick for 10th Player Award


The 10th Player Award is given annually to the Red Sox player who goes above and beyond expectations. The official 2013 winner was Koji Uehara. This year, BSI writers came to a unanimous decision.

Who deserved the Red Sox 10th Player Award in 2014?

Sean Sylver: Brock Holt. When you look at the list of guys who have won this award over the years, the 5’10” Holt can stand tall among them. He’s like a modern day Bob Zupcic – a past winner – who, if you remember 1992, was in the thick of some great moments during an otherwise uninspiring Red Sox season. Holt came up 95 from Rhode Island and literally did everything he was asked, and did it well. The epitome of a good 10th player.

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Victor Barbosa: Brock Holt. This one seems fairly easy to me. I think when your Baseball Reference page lists you as a third baseman, right fielder and second baseman, you automatically deserve consideration for this award. The fact that Holt produced and succeeded at each position during the 2014 season speaks even more to his credibility. Oh yeah, he also appeared in 12 games at shortstop, 10 in center field, eight at first base, and eight in left field. Holt not only provided spectacular defense in 2014, but also led the team in batting (.281 AVG) and steals (12). Yes, they are somewhat embarrassing totals for a team leader, but Holt was the leader nonetheless. “Oh, put me in coach. I’m ready to play, today. Put me in coach. I’m ready to play today. Look at me. I can be center field… or left, right, third, short, second, or first!

Drew Peabody: Brock Holt deserves this award for his all-around play. He filled in ably everywhere on the field. He started at least seven games at seven different positions, looking solid everywhere he went. Though he slumped in the second half to a .281 average, in normal years he would have scored much more often from the leadoff spot. There weren’t enough guys not named Ortiz to drive him in at a regular rate. It was only his September oncussion that gave Mookie Betts a chance to grab the spotlight. There will not likely be a similar need for his versatility next year, but if he can hit for a solid average again, the Sox will find a place for him somewhere on the field.

Matthew Loper: Brock Holt. In a perfect way to sum up the type of year the Red Sox had, my selection for MVP was the same as my selection for a 10th player. Holt was a huge spark for Boston and single-handedly kept them alive in some games in the middle of year while everyone around him slumped. He played virtually every position besides pitcher and catcher, and was a true team-player. Lead-off was a huge issue for a Boston team attempting to fill the void Jacoby Ellsbury left until Brock got the call. There were a ton of things to complain about this season, but lead-off wasn’t a problem after he stepped in. He came out of nowhere, hit like crazy and got on base while having little to no protection. If the Red Sox can turn things around again in a one-year span, Brock Holt could be a big reason why.

Conor Duffy: Brock Holt. After coming out of nowhere, playing all across the diamond, and leading the Red Sox from the top of the lineup for the better part of the year, how could this award go to anybody other than Brock Holt? A rough patch to end the year brought Holt’s total slash line down to .281/.333/.381, significantly down from his midseason heights, but it’s hard to argue against Holt’s status as one of the best players on the team in 2014. Even though his offense ultimately checked out around league average, he brought tremendous value to the Red Sox due to his versatility. Holt started games at every position except pitcher and catcher and, even more surprisingly than that, he was good at all of them! Due to his late-season slide, the Red Sox likely won’t hand him a starting gig next season but expect him to remain the 10th man going forward.

Joe Meehan: Brock Holt. Expectations for Holt were nearly non-existent coming into the season after a less-than-stellar first call up in 2013. Then he spent the first month of the 2014 season dominating in Pawtucket before being called-up, and promptly dominated in Boston. He cooled off at the end of the season, but that shouldn’t diminish his early season accomplishments. As the Sox “super-utility” player, no one is more deserving of this award.

Rick McNair: Brock Holt and no one else. Pawtucket in April and a stabilizing factor when brought back up. Plays everywhere and does so without embarrassment. Notice how he kept his mouth shut after a good spring and then being shipped off to 3A. Consummate pro.