Holt Brings Versatility To Boston

BOSTON—The Red Sox were willing to part with four young players in order to acquire all-star closer Joel Hanrahan from the Pirates, but that willingness came with a condition: getting back middle infield prospect Brock Holt.

The Pirates took Holt out of Rice in the ninth round of the 2009 draft, and he has advanced steadily despite a torn meniscus that cost him most of 2010, reaching the big leagues at the end of 2012. As a lefthanded-hitting middle infielder who can play short or second, Holt fits a hard-to-find profile.

In four minor league seasons, Holt has batted .317/.381/.427 with 11 home runs and 49 steals. As those numbers would suggest, he has limited power and is more of a singles and doubles hitter who uses the whole field and can run well. He continued his track record as a consistent performer into the big leagues last year, when he hit .292/.329/.354 while playing second for the Pirates as a September callup.

Holt, 24, profiles as an above-average runner and good fielder while offering depth at a number of positions. The Sox view him as someone who plays with energy, a grinder who is all over the field. He also has three options remaining, giving him roster versatility for multiple seasons.

"He's had a lot of success in the minor leagues and in a brief callup in September for Pittsburgh," assistant general manager Brian O'Halloran said. "We're excited to have him and the energy that he brings to the table. He's got a line-drive stroke and we think he'll be a good addition to our middle infield core."

While Holt was caught off guard when Pirates general manager Neal Huntington informed him on Dec. 26 that he had been traded, he viewed his opportunity enthusiastically.

"It means a lot to me that they wanted me over here," Holt said. "It kind of makes me want to work even harder to prove them right and be successful. Whatever role I'm in, whether I start in Triple-A, I'm just looking forward to a new opportunity to prove people right and to show people I can play."


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