No one in the Boston Red Sox starting lineup or pitching staff was an All-Star last year. Their lone All-Star, Brock Holt, was a bench player, highly regarded for his versatility so much so that Ned Yost, the American League All-Star game manager last season, had picked Holt over the likes of established veterans included Alex Rodriguez, who launched 33 longballs last season.
If Ned Yost liked him enough for him to be an All-Star and PawSox manager Kevin Boles once said that Holt was the perfect player, then there must be something really special about him — even if he is not a starter.
Of course, Holt might just be the most versatile player in baseball. He manned seven positions for at least ten games in 2014-2015.
Able to play every position except pitcher and catcher, Holt was drafted as a shortstop but moved to second base as he progressed higher in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, like Holt best when he plays everywhere. This year especially, that could be even more key.
Holt never played a game in the outfield until he came up to the big leagues, but he might be seeing a lot more action out there this season. The simple fact is that the Red Sox do not have a reliable outfield and Rusney Castillo, who is projected to start in left field, flat out cannot hit right-handed pitching.
Holt really does not crush right-handers either (he posted a .701 OPS against them in 345 at-bats this past season). But he is better than Castillo (.566 OPS in 185 at-bats versus righties in 2015).
The Red Sox did not sign a left-handed hitting oufielder so if a platoon comes into play, it is safe to assume Holt would be involved.
And then, of course, there is Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field. The question still remains: can he hit Major League pitching? His projected platoon mate, Chris Young, cannot hit right-handed pitching well anymore (he never really could), so if anything happens to Bradley then Holt might have to become the every day center fielder.
Dustin Pedroia is a dependable second baseman. The Red Sox can depend on him to hit about .300, but they can also depend on him to get hurt for a couple of months just about every season. Not to worry, that’s Holt’s best position defensively.