In a move that has raised quite a few eyebrows, the Boston Red Sox is sending an unexpected player to the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game – Brock Holt.
A throw-in in the trade between Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates, Holt is the surprising choice as a reserve for the American League All-Star team, but given his recent track record, it is perhaps a wise choice. An unlikely candidate for the All-Stars he maybe, but Holt is no green horn. He has played four infield positions and all three outfield spots in both 2014 and 2015, in other words, all seven positions apart from pitcher and catcher. His current stats stand at .295 with two homeruns, 30 runs, 21 RBIs and a respectable .383 OBP. He is also the first player since John Valentin in 1996 to hit for the cycle against the Atlanta Braves at Fenway Park on June 16.
Though a minor league player who does not figure in Baseball America’s Top 100 and was not even a regular member of his team’s lineup when they opened this year, Holt has made a name for himself as a super utility player in these last two seasons and this helped him get a ticket to the All-Stars lineup. However, Holt himself was caught unawares by the selection and said, “I’m just honored to be able to represent the Red Sox and the organization at the All-Star Game. I’m humbled and it’s something I didn’t expect coming into the year, but I’m glad it happened, and I’m excited about the opportunity.”
This talent of playing multi-position is not very common and is probably what worked in Holt’s favour when American League manager Ned Yost was selecting players for his squad. But with a .295 run rate and .383 OBP, Holt is arguably a valuable player and might do Red Sox proud if he enters the game.
Nate Field, the Red Sox pro scout who had recommended Holt to the Sox team had observed his all-rounder capabilities, “There were some pretty big prospects on the field at the time. But there was just something about Brock. You look at his size, and when you watch him, nothing stands out as plus. . . . But then you watch him and he does everything right. You kind of gravitate towards him. It’s tough not to watch him and like what he does. I was fortunate enough to play with Joe McEwing a little bit in Kansas City. [Holt] reminded me a lot of him. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. He just did it. Without having to think about it, he just did it.” On a side note, this year too the Red Sox is only sending a single player, Holt.