The Boston Red Sox have been looking for that magic that brought them a World Series title in 2018. It looks like Brock Holt may be that much-needed spark.
This has been a season of extreme highs and lows for the Red Sox. It feels like every series brings in a new wave of emotions for not only the team but the fans. One man who has been a driving force and a massive surge of energy for the club has been Brock Holt.
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Brock missed some time due to a scratched cornea and then a wonky shoulder but since his return, he has been a damn monster at the plate and in the field. Holt has been mostly utilized at second base with Michael Chavis covering first in the wake of the injuries to Steve Pearce and Mitch Moreland. Alex Cora has also used him off the bench as a pinch hitter and Brock has been making sure to capitalize on those chances.
It’s been a great comeback from the IL for the utility superman as he’s gotten his average up to .308 with an OPS of .799. He has found himself in the center of the Red Sox offense and most recently has been the spark that ignites the bats. In this past weekend’s series against Baltimore Holt went 5-10 with 5 RBI and he also hit his first homer of the season.
Brock was interviewed by NESN’s Guerin Austin after the game on Saturday on what may be giving him this surge at the plate and he gave an answer that hit Red Sox Nation right in the feels.
"“Dustin Pedroia right here,” he said. “Little shoutout. I’ve been wearing it ever since he went back home. We’re always thinking about him. I’m obviously thinking about him. It actually might be the reason I’m doing so well is I’ve got a little bit of him with me. He’s part of our team still, no matter where he’s at.”"
Giving praise to the long-time second baseman that he is essentially replacing at the moment is just pure class from Brock. Which comes to no surprise to anyone that follows this team as Brock has been about the team over himself since he arrived in Boston. Holt embodies everything that Dustin Pedroia has in his career and that is seen every time that he takes the field.
With J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers all powering this offense, Brock is an added bonus as he now takes the pressure off of those bats. If they’re having an off night, more often than not he has stepped up in their absence. And with him swinging a hot bat that means opposing pitchers have less room for error to dance around the offense.
With the uncertainty of Pedroia as far as his playing future is concerned Brock Holt can become a key figure for the Red Sox going forward. Chavis has done a great job filling in but he is primarily a first/third baseman and will likely stay at first with Moreland and Pearce being free agents this winter.
Brock will also be a free agent this winter and the Red Sox need to make him an offer before it’s too late. His age will offer the Sox an opportunity to sign him to a club-friendly contract and it seems pretty obvious that Brock wants to stay in Boston. So the team has a need and the player and organization have a great relationship, it doesn’t get more win-win than that.
Even if the Sox have other plans for second base the fact that Brock can play damn near any position makes him beyond valuable to the organization. He has more than proven that he can step up whenever Cora calls upon him. That’s something that the Red Sox need and need in a very big way, especially with the injury bug as of late.
This has been a season that Red Sox Nation would like to forget and in a hurry. The team is hitting a hot streak and a big reason for that is the play of Brock Holt. If he can keep going at the level he has been since coming off the IL then Boston will have a good shot at playing postseason baseball. With some big games coming up on the schedule the Sox need every bit of magic they can get.