Brock Holt, the Heart of the Boston Red Sox

Brock Holt
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 29: Brock Holt #12 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting a single during the eighth inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles on September 29, 2019 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

The Boston Red Sox offseason from hell got even worse when Brock Holt signed with the Milwaukee Brewers. Ever since arriving from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, Holt has quietly been the heart and soul of the Boston Red Sox. Capable of playing every spot on the diamond while being the best teammate imaginable, this is the type of guy the Red Sox are going to miss moving forward.

The Boston Red Sox Will Miss Brock Holt

Brock Holt the Player

Brock Holt is a jack of all trades who did anything and everything asked of him. Initially a second baseman, Holt made his Red Sox debut in 2014 after Will Middlebrooks suffered a fairly significant injury. This injury forced the Sox to temporarily move Xander Bogaerts to third, re-sign Stephen Drew, and use Holt whenever anyone in the infield needed a rest day. Over time, Holt proved to be too good to send back to the minors. Despite minimal experience in the outfield, Holt became the center fielder for a decent amount of time and arguably made the play of the season out there. In an otherwise lost campaign, Holt’s emergence was easily the best part of the season.

Holt continued to serve in his superutility role for the remainder of his tenure in Boston. This role will presumably be filled by Tzu-Wei Lin and Jonathan Arauz. However, it’s hard to imagine either guy matching Holt’s on-field impact. Even though he was never quite good enough (or durable enough) to be an every-day player, Holt was more than just a fill-in player.

The former Pirate was a league-average or better hitter in four of his six full seasons in Boston, with the lone exceptions coming in injury-riddled campaigns. Considering the inconsistency of his playing time and the wide variety of positions he had to learn on the fly, this sort of consistent production was nothing short of remarkable. He also had some of the most memorable moments in recent Red Sox history, the most notable of which being his cycle against the New York Yankees in the 2018 postseason. Amazingly enough, Holt is the only player to ever hit a postseason cycle.

Holt Off the Field

Brock Holt is an important player on the field, but he’s just as valuable on the bench. The Red Sox brought in a wide variety of characters over the past six seasons, but not a soul will say anything bad about Holt. Famous for his infectious personality and all-around heart, Holt had a gift for breaking up the monotony of a full 162-game season. Teams need players like that, and Holt’s love for both his teammates and the game of baseball shone through the broadcast each and every time he was on the camera.

Holt’s positive off-field presence extended far beyond baseball. The primary charity of the Boston Red Sox is The Jimmy Fund, a charity that exists to fight against cancer through the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Each and every member of the Red Sox organization contributes to this organization in some fashion, but Holt always went above and beyond.

Glenn Ordway, a local radio host who plays a big part in the annual Jimmy Fund radio fundraiser, tweeted that Holt did more for the Jimmy Fund than any player he can remember. Whether it was quietly donating money or visiting the sick children, Brock Holt is everything you want in a ballplayer, both on and off the field. They don’t make them like Brock Holt anymore, and the Milwaukee Brewers have to be thankful for getting a great ballplayer.

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