On December 26, 2012, the Boston Red Sox made a splash in the trade market, acquiring right handed closer Joel Hanrahan from the Pittsburgh Pirates. In return, the Red Sox sent Jerry Sands, Stolmy Pimentel, Mark Melancon and Iván DeJesús, Jr. to the Pirates. Although the main reason for the trade was the addition of an All-Star closer, a second player came along with Hanrahan: Brock Holt.
Drafted in the ninth round of the 2009 June Amateur Draft out of Rice University in Houston, Texas, Holt was an under-the-radar acquisition for the Red Sox. The 24-year old moved quickly through the Pirates farm system, and eventually made his MLB debut on September 1, 2012. On September 4, 2012 against the Houston Astros, Holt became the only the second Pirates player since 1900 to have a four-hit game within his first four career games in the majors.
During his four years in the Pirates minor league system, Holt batted .317 with a .381 OBP, 49 stolen bases and 87 doubles. In his 24 games after being called up, the rookie batted .292 with a .329 OBP for the Pirates.
Holt will be joining Pedro Ciriaco in the fight to be Dustin Pedroia’s backup this season. Holt is a gritty hitter and hustling defender that really has the ability to succeed learning from Pedroia, one of the best second baseman in the major leagues. In addition to his great offensive and defensive ability, Holt will also push the Red Sox infielders to not grow complacent over the spring and into the season.
If Holt and Ciriaco can fight it out for the the infield backup roles to Pedroia and starting shortstop Stephen Drew, it will be interesting to see what the Red Sox do with Jose Iglesias. Additionally, the Red Sox have one of major league baseball’s top shortstop prospects in Xander Bogaerts.
In the end, the acquisition of Hanrahan will not only help the Red Sox bullpen, but the infield and the future. The Red Sox, in a way, stole second base, with the addition of Holt.