BOSTON (CBS) — When the 2014 season began, Brock Holt was expecting to battle for a utility spot on the defending World Series champs.
Instead, he’s their everyday leadoff hitter wearing many different hats (or should we say, gloves) around the diamond.
Holt has been the Red Sox’ every-man this season, and has arguably been the team’s MVP. He’s been red-hot at the plate, batting .326 with 88 hits in just 64 games — the only regular in the Boston lineup hitting over .300. Holt is batting .357 with an .892 OPS in July, and is hitting .328 with 35 runs scored as Boston’s leadoff hitter.
But that’s nothing compared to what he’s done in the field for Boston, playing all over the infield and, for the first time of his career, the outfield. Acquired as a second baseman in the 2012 trade for Pittsburgh Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan, Holt has played 48 games at third this season (first taking over for the injured Will Middlebrooks) before finding his way to first, second and short. He’s also seen games in center (three games), left (seven games) and right field (21 games), marking the first time in his career he’s roamed the outfield.
Holt has become a folk hero to the Fenway faithful, living up to his Twitter handle “@BrockStar4Lyf.” He doesn’t mind all the moving around, and is just happy to be contributing at the major league level.
“It’s been a lot of fun. It’s something I didn’t really expect, moving around the outfield and the infield, but it’s been a blast,” Holt told Dan Roche for Sunday night’s edition of Sports Final on WBZ-TV. “I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be able to do that, and like I said, its been a lot of fun to move around and play different positions.”
Rochie w/ Brock Holt Part 1:
Given the nightly uncertainty of where he’ll be playing, Holt makes sure he has a few different gloves at the ready.
“I’ve got three,” he said, having to put some thought into it. “Two infielder (gloves), one I’m trying to break in and one I use all over the infield, and one outfielders glove.”
Holt was back at third base on Sunday as Boston completed a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. He led the game off with a single off Kansas City fireballer Yordano Ventura, after getting down 0-2 in the count, and scored Boston’s first run on a Dustin Pedroia fielder’s choice.
For Holt, who hit some leadoff in 2012, he keeps the same approach when he’s the first batter of the game as he does every other at-bat.
“Leading off a game you want to see some pitches, but I’m not going to go up there and get down 0-2 watching pitches. I’m going to be ready to hit,” he said. “That first at-bat is more for the team, but after that you’re just another guy in the lineup. You just try to get in a good position to hit and put a good swing on it.”
Rochie w/ Brock Holt Part 2:
After their sweep of Kansas City, and winning four of their last five before the All-Star break, the Red Sox are still on the outside looking in at a playoff spot. They sit 7.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East and six games behind the L.A. Angels and Seattle Mariners for a Wild Card spot.
But Holt and the Red Sox are hoping their recent winning ways will continue as they have 13 straight games against AL East foes.
“We feel good. These last three days have been good. We had some momentum going into the break and it carried over,” he said. “Hopefully we can carry this momentum onto the road trip.”
Tune in to Sports Final and Sports Final OT at 11:35 p.m. every Sunday night on WBZ-TV.
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