Sep 11, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Brock Holt (26) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
2015 Stats: .280/.349/.379, 2 HR, 45 RBI, 56 Runs, 8 SB
Holt initially broke out last season when he made a name for himself with his versatility by playing 7 different defensive positions. Giving the Red Sox the flexibility to plug him anywhere in the lineup was valuable, but Holt was still viewed as no more than a utility player that could come off the bench or fill in for an injured starter.
That viewpoint was changed when Holt was selected to his first All-Star appearance this year. He hit .292 before the break with a .379 OBP that put him near the top of the league in the first half of the season. His propensity for getting on base convinced the Red Sox to try him out in the lead-off position for a while, where he hit .325 in 80 at-bats from the top of the lineup.
Last year Holt hit a wall near the end of the season when the effects of his first full year in the big leagues began to wear on him. The second half fade plagued him once again this year, but it wasn’t nearly as drastic this time. Holt’s average dropped to .265 after the break, which isn’t up to the All-Star standards he set early in the season, but is still well above the replacement level production he provided in the second half of 2014.
Holt has shown a lot of progress in his ability to hold up over the grueling schedule of a major league season. If he can continue that progress to put together a full season that resembles his first few months of this year, he’ll cement his spot in the lineup as an everyday player – even if he isn’t necessarily playing the same spot defensively every game.
Next: Eduardo Rodriguez