It’s pretty safe to say that nobody expected this one (expect maybe my colleague Rick McNair). If the Red Sox were to have only one All-Star representative this season, most would have named Xander Bogaerts, Clay Buchholz, or perhaps Dustin Pedroia. But while Bogaerts still has a chance to make the team in the Final Vote, the sole Red Sox member on the American League All-Star team as of today is super utility man Brock Holt.
But just because the choice of Holt is unexpected doesn’t mean that it’s undeserved. While Holt burst onto the scene a year ago, making a name as an incredibly versatile player that could also swing the bat a bit, he has been even better this season. Though he wasn’t even a starter to begin the year, injuries have forced him into an everyday role and he’s slashed .295/.383/.424, good for a 126 wRC+ (meaning he produces runs at a 26% better rate than the league average), while starting all over the diamond.
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Utility players like Holt are often unappreciated in today’s game, which makes it all the more exciting to see the 27 year old make the team. The Matt Damon lookalike’s versatility has been incredibly valuable to a Red Sox team that has been riddled with injuries this season, as he has been able to slot in wherever needed, most recently at second base with Pedroia on the disabled list.
Red Sox fans know just how fun it is to watch Holt and it’s great to know that the rest of the baseball world will now know. Holt has made a bigger impact on the Red Sox than perhaps anybody else since the start of the 2014 season and the scrappy Holt, who was acquired as a throw-in in the Joel Hanrahan trade before the 2013 season, has become an icon in Red Sox nation. It would be phenomenal to see Bogaerts make the team, but as a die-hard Red Sox fan, I’d be hard-pressed to name someone on the Red Sox more deserving (in his own unique way) than Holt.