I hate to even bring this up, but Brock Holt is eligible for free agency after this season. He’d love to stay here, saying that playing for any other team is “weird to think about,” and calling himself “part-Bostonian.” The Holt family has embraced Red Sox Nation and the city, and they’ve embraced him right back.
Brock Holt is exactly the kind of player the Red Sox should keep around. He’s an inexpensive utility man who can do a lot for very little money, let’s just get that obvious fact out of the way right now. But more importantly – so much more importantly – he is a very solid player and a good person.
Since joining the team in 2013, Holt has been a Jimmy Fund captain, and he’s gone above and beyond in that role. He and his wife Lakyn often hang out with the cancer patients at Dana Farber, regardless of whether or not the Red Sox PR team is there to capture and advertise the moment.
Holt hasn’t had the easiest last few years. In 2016, he suffered a concussion with awful lasting side effects, including anxiety and vertigo. It made it all the more wonderful when he had a strong 2018 and was an integral part of the postseason.
He’s been the catalyst for some of the most important moments in this team’s recent history. In Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS, his single started a 7-run 4th inning. He ended up going 4-for-6 with 3 runs and 5 RBIs. That night, he’d become the first player in MLB history to hit for the cycle in a postseason game.
The Red Sox are a different team without Brock Holt, a worse-off team. His importance was highlighted by his absence earlier this season and his subsequent return. Holt spent 44 games on the Injured List earlier this season, after his son and future Sox slugger Griffin Holt, poked him in the eye on Opening Day. Since returning to the lineup, Holt is 22-for-60 with a .367/.415/.500 slash line. He’s got 3 doubles, a triple, a home run, 10 RBIs, and 13 runs in just 17 games. Since his return, the Red Sox are 7-2 when he scores a run, 6-2 when he drives in a run.
Last night, in the Red Sox’s 17-inning loss to Minnesota, he started the night 0-for-3, but after the 9th inning, had three consecutive hits. He was stranded on base each time, but his efforts to give his team the game should not go unnoticed.
This team is better when it is comprised of good athletes who are also, more importantly, good human beings. Brock Holt is both.
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Photo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images