Brock Holt has been a good story in what has been a season short on good stories for the Boston Red Sox. Coming up in mid-May after Will Middlebrooks went down with a finger injury, Holt has been one of Boston’s best players — and at times one of the best players in baseball. Not bad for a guy who was essentially a throw-in in the December 2012 trade that brought Joel Hanrahan to Boston from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
However, every hot streak comes to an end, and every player comes back to earth after a while. Concerning rookies like Holt, the book comes out. Concerning players who play above their level, like Holt has, they return to being the player they always were.
For Holt, that’s a solid major league player who can fill a lot of roles, something he showed playing everyday over the last two months. He’s not an All-Star; his .335 average and .855 OPS in 52 games prior to the All-Star break isn’t evident of the player Holt will be. There will be no speeches like we saw Sunday in Cooperstown delivered by Holt.
Holt wrapped up the unofficial first half of the MLB season with a spectacular 5-for-6 game, hitting a home run and scoring twice in the Red Sox’s 11-0 win over the Houston Astros. But since coming back from the break, Holt has been far from the impact player we saw in the first half.
In nine games since returning from the All-Star break, the 26-year-old rookie is hitting just .179 (7-for-39) with a .461 OPS. Holt has just one hit for extra bases and has just one hit in his last 22 at-bats, punching out eight times.
A small sample size, but nonetheless a sign of what our minds were telling us — as Holt’s run channeled memories of Pedro Ciriaco and Tony Graffanino — even though our eyes were telling us he is Wade Boggs or Dwight Evans.
Despite the reports that he was part-cyborg, Holt is a very good utility player at best. He is a guy you can plug into the lineup from any position and get serviceable production — the prototype of Ben Zobrist, Willie Bloomquist or Mark DeRosa. He isn’t someone you’d ever build your team around, but he is a very good piece at that.
It was a great run, and an even better story for Holt, but everybody comes back down to earth at some point.