Brock Holt has tremendous value off the bench


In the first half of the 2014 season, Brock Holt was a revelation for the Red Sox. Promoted in May to help fill the gap at third base, vacated by Will Middlebrooks with a trip to the disabled list, he immediately made an impact with the Red Sox and became an everyday starter first at third base, then at first base, and finally settling into the outfield. All the while, Holt slashed .327/.371/.463 in 61 first half games and cemented himself as a fan favorite in a bleak season for Red Sox Nation.

Of course, Holt fell hard in the second half, posting a dismal line of .219/.278/.271 after the All-Star Break and quickly falling out of favor with the additions of Yoenis Cespedes and Rusney Castillo and the emergence of Mookie Betts within Boston’s once-vacant outfield.

As we focus our attention to the new season, there’s not a position for Holt to start everyday and the lineup is too deep for him to rotate positions while playing everyday (which is a good thing). However, Brock Holt’s versatility still makes him an incredibly valuable bench piece for the 2015 Red Sox.

At the plate, the Holt of the future is likely somewhere in between the lines of his scintillating first half and frigid second half; on the season, Holt slashed .281/.331/.381, likely a solid estimate of his performance going forward. That line is good for a 100 OPS+, exactly league average, but considering Holt’s role on the team, league average is phenomenal.

See, Holt’s value comes from being able to play every position on the field except pitcher and catcher, and do it relatively well. If John Farrell is able to plug Holt into any position, whether for injury replacements or giving players days off or anything else, and have him hit at a league-average rate, then that’s huge.

Don’t expect Holt to carry the team, batting leadoff and enthralling fans with his hard-nosed style of play, like he did from May to July of this year. However, certainly don’t jump ship on Holt either. He’s not an everyday starter, but he still has huge value to the Red Sox as one of the better utility men in the league and, therefore, one of the most valuable bench players in the league.