Like a lightning bolt through dark clouds, Brock Holt takes on all adversity with a glowing energy that other, more-seasoned baseball veterans do not have.
This last December, after being told, via social media, that the Boston Red Sox are either trading him or designating him for assignment, as other players were better than him, Holt commented back in a subtle, yet exacting manner, which he then posted to Twitter:
Calling attention to the Texas-native’s Instagram comment, Holt responds by saying, “can you do me a favor? Next time you talk to The Boston Red Sox and they tell you all about their plans…will you tell them I say hello! It would mean a lot.” Regardless of the response’s context, Holt’s ability to hold his own, while keeping a sense of composure, is exactly what the Red Sox need in all of their young players.
Too often, young players are so excited to be in Major League Baseball, their dream since being children, that they burn out too quickly. They try to hit a home run each time that they make a plate appearance. Every pitch is the perfect pitch to hit. Every defensive play has to be made in a dive. They sprint, when they should be pacing themselves for a marathon. NESN.com’s Ricky Doyle reports that, in a phone interview with ESPN.com, Holt explained his playing philosophy in one, concise sentence:
"“Go out and do what you’re capable of doing and don’t try to do too much.”"
That positive, calm attitude keeps players in the game longer than a season. “A guy in my spot, that’s the kind of attitude you’ve got to have. Just go in and be ready for whatever they might want you to do. That’s what I plan on doing” (Doyle). Holt understands that he makes a bigger impact for the Red Sox in the role that he played for them last season, not by trying to be the saviour but by helping where he can make a difference.
That role likely will be in many different places around the diamond in 2015. Holt said, “I’ve talked to [general manager] Ben [Cherington], I’ve talked to [manager] John [Farrell]. They told me that it’ll probably be kind of similar to what I did last year. Move around, give guys days off whenever they need them” (Doyle). For someone with Holt’s toolbox, this roster is the perfect fit for him.
Last season, the 5’10” righty batted left to hit .281, with four home runs and 29 RBIs, in 106 games. A number of key veterans, like Dustin Pedroia, were injured, which gave Holt enough playing time to impress the Red Sox brass and Beantown’s faithful supporters a great deal. Holt’s .331 on-base percentage was also handy, as his speed shot off to stealing 12 bases. Between his height and his steel determination, ironically reminiscent of Pedroia, Holt played seven different defensive positions with an air of defiance to any doubters of his ability. The only parts Holt did not play were pitcher and catcher, but how many veterans are expected to play the batterymen, too? Instead, Holt recharges a lineup which is much older, whose players have been prone to injury, and have recently added members with bumps and bruises of their own.
If Red Sox Nation wants to see a championship, or at least a hint at the 2015 postseason, they better be excited to see Brock Holt still on the team in April. He has talent, but, more importantly, he provides a spark every time that he goes on the field, which is a controlled flame. Holt may not be the god of thunder, hammering the dark clouds, but he still swings a mean stick and moves as fast as lightning, to the detriment of opposing teams. The raindrop tears should be saved for his doubters, as Holt brings the bright vehemence of his play to the ballpark every time.