Brock Holt

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Brock Wyatt Holt
(Brock Star)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Infielder Brock Holt reached the majors with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, then emerged as an outstanding utility player with the Boston Red Sox.

Holt attended Rice University for one year, hitting .348 in his lone season for the Owls. He was then selected by the Pirates in the ninth round of the 2009 amateur draft. He soon signed and made his pro debut for the State College Spikes on June 22nd and went on to lead the club in batting average (.299), hits (76), runs (45), home runs (6), and stolen bases (9). He played for the Bradenton Marauders in 2010, hitting .351 in 47 games before suffering a season-ending injury in June.

With the Altoona Curve in 2011, Holt hit .288 and stole 18 bases in 132 games. He began 2012 back with the Curve and hit .322 in 102 games before being promoted to the AAA Indianapolis Indians. He continued his hot hitting with Indianapolis, posting a .432 average in 24 games. That earned him a September call-up to the majors. He made his big league debut on September 1st against the Milwaukee Brewers, coming to the plate as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, and then walking and scoring a run. In only his fourth game, starting at second base against the Houston Astros, he went 4 for 5 with a pair of runs scored to lead the Pirates to a 6-2 win. He ended his first season with a batting average of .292 in 24 games. On December 26th, he was sent to the Boston Red Sox along with pitcher Joel Hanrahan in return for IF Ivan DeJesus Jr., Ps Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimentel, and OF Jerry Sands.

Brock played sparingly in the Red Sox's championship season in 2013, getting into 26 games during which he hit .203. He was not on the team's postseason roster. In 2014, however, he was one of the few bright lights as the Sox fell to a last-place finish in the AL East. Performing a super Utility player role, he played 106 games, hitting .281 and scoring 68 runs. He started games at seven different positions, his versatility being particularly welcome as the team struggled all season with injuries and underperforming players. He was back in a similar role in 2015. On June 16th, he had a career night as he hit for the cycle in a 7-4 win over the Atlanta Braves. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Sox, who were once again in last place. He hit a solo homer in the 7th and a triple in the 8th to complete the feat, the first in the majors that season, and the first by any Red Sox player since John Valentin back on June 6, 1996. He was named the Red Sox's sole representative at the 2015 All-Star Game. In a sign of how unusual a player he was, he was the first player to have started games at seven different positions to be an All-Star. Fir the season, he hit .280 in 129 games, with 27 doubles, 6 triples and 2 homers, scoring 56 runs and driving in 45.

Brock hit his first career grand slam on April 8, 2016 against Jesse Chavez of the Toronto Blue Jays; his grand slam negated one by the Jays' Josh Donaldson, and Brock also drove in another run with a double to lead the Sox to an 8-7 win. He had hit another long ball earlier that week, meaning that it had taken him all of four games to match his long ball total from the previous year. However, he suffered a concussion in May of that season, and it set him back badly. He was out of action from May 18 to July 1st and ended up at .255 in 94 games, with 7 homers and 34 RBIs. He did well in the postseason, however, going 4-for-10 in the Red Sox's loss to the Cleveland Indians in the Division Series. But after-effects of the concussion still bothered him in 2017, with problems such as vertigo affecting him, and he was limited to 64 games, hitting just .200 as the Red Sox repeated as AL East champs. This time, he hardly played in the postseason, making just one appearance without a plate appearance in the Division Series.

He was back in full health in 2018 and it came at a good time, as 2B Dustin Pedroia missed almost the entire season with an injury. He helped fill in for him alongside Eduardo Nunez, but also backed up Xander Bogaerts at shortstop and saw playing time in the outfield. On August 14th, he hit a pinch-hit homer off Tommy Hunter of the Philadelphia Phillies with one out in the 8th, breaking a 1-1 tie and giving the Red Sox a 2-1 win. On October 8th, he started Game 3 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees at second base at New Yankee Stadium and became the first player ever to hit for the cycle in the postseason. He went 4 for 6 with 3 runs and 5 RBIs, capping his day by homering off position player Austin Romine in the 9th.

On August 7, 2021, pitching mop-up relief for the Texas Rangers in a blow-out loss to the Oakland Athletics, he threw the slowest pitch ever to be called a strike in the Statcast era, an eephus pitch that crossed the plate at a snail-like 31 mph. The befuddled batter, Elvis Andrus, just watched it in amazement, before hitting a weak grounder on the next pitch, which was almost as slow.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Anthony DiComo: "Holt homers in 9th for first postseason cycle: Sox infielder also just 26th player with multiple cycles in career",, October 9, 2018. [1]

Related Sites[edit]