Bring Brock Holt Home to Texas


News of the Hanley Ramirez signing in Boston started to break Sunday afternoon. Today the signing is official and Ramirez has stated he is open to moving to left field. That should put to rest the Castro for Bogaerts and other possibilities included the Red Sox young shortstop coming to Houston. Rumors surrounding Holt have been essentially nonexistent. But the Astros, along with nearly every team in MLB, should pursue this super-utility player who can certainly handle himself at the plate.

Holt was born and raised in Texas. Stephenville, in fact, and he might even like to sing Kyle Park’s “Leaving Stephenville.” All (bad) jokes aside, Brock went to two schools of higher education (Navarro College and Rice University) prior to being drafted by the Pirates in 2009.

MLB Trade Rumors posts lengthy discussions about all of the signings, trades, and other roster moves in MLB. Their post on Ramirez is an effort by three individuals (Steve Adams, Mark Polishuk and Charlie Wilmoth):

"“The Red Sox announced Ramirez as a left fielder, which should put to rest any questions about his role with the team. Fellow free agent signee Pablo Sandoval will be penciled in as the everyday third baseman, and the promising Xander Bogaerts will look to improve in his second full season in the league.  Ramirez will join Boston’s very crowded outfield mix of Yoenis Cespedes, Rusney Castillo, Shane Victorino, Allen Craig, Brock Holt, Jackie Bradley, Mookie Betts and Daniel Nava.  Cespedes’ name has been mentioned in trade rumors, so he seems like the most probable candidate to be playing elsewhere in 2015, but the Sox seem very likely to move multiple outfielders this winter.”"

So it seems inevitable for the Red Sox to move some players. The Astros seemingly have their outfield situation under control. But do they really? George Springer hit just .231 while astonishing folks with 20 home runs. He’s got quite the ceiling after a near 40-40 campaign (homers, stolen bases) in the minors during the 2013 season. Jake Marisnick showed a lot of promise, especially late in the season, with superb defense and a couple of home runs while batting .272 after the trade deadline. And Dexter Fowler, while he can certainly get on base, missed a few games due to a stomach bug and later was on the Disabled List for more than a month.

Fowler is also likely to walk as a free agent after the 2015 season.

Holt, on the other hand, made his MLB debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2012 season. He is not eligible for free agency until 2020. That is one year after the end of two team-option years on Jose Altuve‘s contract. Holt has played every position at the MLB level, save for catcher and pitcher, so far in his career. It is true that he is primarily a middle infielder. And with Altuve locked up for a while and Carlos Correa expected to be the shortstop relatively soon, some may be hesitant to bring in another middle infielder.

Statistically Holt would be a great fit for the Houston Astros. A guy who can hit for average, get on-base, and even steal a few bags. A slash line in 2014 of .281/.331/.381 with 5 home runs, 23 doubles, and 5 triples. And perhaps a strikeout rate near 20% is not good compared to the rest of MLB. But with Springer, Jon Singleton, and Chris Carter living with strikeout rates in the 30’s, a 20% K rate is somewhat welcomed.

And I am sure that if Brock Holt were acquired via a trade, he would certainly be welcomed, by the fans, back home in Texas.