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Brock Holt has to be the Red Sox starting playoff 3B

October 01, 2016

Dude, Yoan Moncada. That kid is a stud. He’s gonna hit like .673 and win World Series MVP. I love prospects!!!

Maybe in some universe. But in ours, Moncada’s 30 percent whiff rate in Double-A didn’t translate well into big league action. But don’t write him off — or this season off. Moncada might not be the answer at third base, but the Red Sox found it.

His name is Brock Holt. Yes, super utility man Brock Holt. He can do anything. And this will make him an asset to the Red Sox again. He’s got to be their best option at third in the playoffs.

He owns a .717 OPS in 92 games this season. He had hit .261 with a .706 OPS in 52 second half games. And his OPS against right-handed pitching was .777 on the year (with two regular season games remaining). Also, remember, he’s not terrible on defense either.

Why the change? Shaw’s numbers on the year ain’t bad. Yes. But he’s hit under .200 since the All-Star break. Talk about a detriment to the lineup. The Red Sox had a great lineup — possibly the best in baseball — even with him starting. So, without him, it should be better. Just imagine: a Red Sox lineup with a competent third baseman. That’s deadly.

So what about Aaron Hill? What about him and his .600 OPS since coming to Boston? Yeah, him… Where’s he fit in? So glad you asked…

Hill ain’t bad against left-handed pitching. Holt is. Shaw is. And Moncada can’t hit big league pitching. So, from here on out, maybe Hill sees reps against left-handed starters. Maybe he even pinch hits on occasion. Anything’s better than Holt’s .350 OPS against lefties this year.

So what’s that mean for Shaw next year? Probably a bench player — if his bat is better. If not, I know a place… in Rhode Island.


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