Red Sox players with the most to gain and lose in Spring Training
Brock Holt: Win
It’s only natural to segue into Brock Holt after discussing Pablo. Like Travis Shaw a year ago, if Holt can put together a solid spring training and significantly outplay Sandoval, the hot corner could be his.
Apart from the outfield, Holt’s spent more time at third in his career than any other position. His play at third is adequate, over his career he’s been worth -12 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) over 798.2 innings. It’s interesting to note that Sandoval, who was remarkably bad at third in 2015, has an identical DRS in a Red Sox uniform.
Offensively, Holt has been a league average hitter for most of his career. Aside from his All-Star performance in the first half of the 2015 season, he hasn’t done much to impress with the bat. He followed up his .280/.322/.383 slash line in 2015 with a disappointing .255 average and .705 OPS.
By virtue of depth alone, he could be Boston’s starting third baseman in 2017. That’s not an ideal situation from a team perspective, they would prefer to see Sandoval regain his previous stature, and utilize Holt’s versatility. But a combination of poor performance from Pablo and great play from Holt could see this situation play out come April. Because of this, Brock Holt stands to gain a lot should things align in his favor this spring.