Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Flash in the pan or something more - Brock Holt


Just a disclaimer before I start this post. I'm working on kind of switching up the way I do things here on the blog. Before, a large majority of my posts were dedicated to game recaps and the like. I'm attempting to get away from that. I may still do it occasionally but only when I have writer's block. The big reason I did that for so long is in hopes that someone who mattered would run into my blog and I would get exposure and potentially a job. That's why I was always so proper. Well, enough of that. I'm going to start doing a lot of different things now. Inserting my opinion a lot more, attempting to dig deeper into games, etc. I hope you enjoy it.

I don't have to tell you who the big prospects are in the organization for the Pittsburgh Pirates. If you have been a fan for more than three days, you know who they are. I also don't have to tell you that Brock Holt was never one of those guys. That being said, he has been hot all season and earned a September call up after starting the year in Altoona. Now after he accumulated four hits in Tuesday night's win over the Houston Astros, the question is whether it's something that is sustainable or if it's just a hot streak. 

Holt has flown under the radar all season. When it comes to middle infield prospects, if your name isn't Alen Hanson, you probably weren't being followed too closely. But that's not surprising. He wasn't a high pick. He went in the ninth round in 2009. He got sent to Altoona to start the year in favor of Chase d'Arnaud and Jordy Mercer, neither of which is ever going to light the world on fire. That would make one think that all he is is a infield version of Alex Presley. If you remember, Presley made it to the majors because of a ridiculous hot streak and carried it over into the majors. Unfortunately for Pirate fans, it's also caused him to get multiple chances in the majors. 

So, the likelihood is that you don't know much about Holt. Can't blame you. Here's some info. The guy has hit everywhere that he's gone. But don't expect him to hit for power. Just by looking at him you can tell that he's far from a power hitter. His career high in home runs is six which he hit in his first year at State College. Since then, he's hit three in each of the past two seasons. He's also not a very good base stealer but that's par for the course on the Pirates' roster. Defensively, he can be put in both middle infield spots but he's better served at second base which is a problem for his major league prospects since that spot is occupied by Neil Walker. He would have to play shortstop if he wanted to stick long term but his size limits his range and he doesn't have the strongest of arms.

Have the Pirates finally found their lead off hitter that they have been waiting for since Kenny Lofton left? No. Holt is not going to be the long term answer. Could he be a better version of Josh Harrison off the bench in the future? Yes, but I think that's about it. But that doesn't mean that he can't be that lead off hitter for the rest of this season. He's hot and having the year of a lifetime. Ride it out. There are no rules in a playoff race. Running Clint Barmes out there every day serves no purpose. When Walker is healthy, run Holt out there until the magic wears off. Look at Andrew McCutchen's stat line from Tuesday night and it will show you exactly what can happen when the guys ahead of him in the lineup actually get on base.

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