A Gun Slinger Named Holt:
Okay before I go into why I think Bradley Holt is the closest thing to a pitching sure shot in the Mets lower farm system, let me have a little fun with just his name. It holds no true value and certainly does not have a check box next to a player evaluator in any scouting system anywhere. But come on. “Now taking the mound Bradley Holt.” “The Holt 45.” “And the Braves playoff run has come to a screeching Holt.” I admit that last one was a stretch but you have to admit the guy has a good baseball name. This being said, I am still dumbfounded that a guy who’s name was (and to my knowledge still is)Butch Husky is not preparing his hall of fame speech right now. So we better play it safe and look at the player. Just in case the name doesn’t pan out.
Born: October 13, 1986. Sorry, that is the second time that October of 1986 has come up and it has been eating me alive trying to remember why that month and year are so important to me.
Drafted: 2008 Compensatory pick out of the University of North Carolina. Worthy of note, the draft pick the Mets got for not resigning Tom Glavine after he concluded his Mets career with “Just like any other game. Do I have enough sky miles to fly me and my family back to Atlanta?”
Vitals: Throws right handed (How rare…) Builds around his fast ball. Radar reports vary but most have his heater in the 91-94 range. Throws 3 pitches for strikes and this time next year it should be four.
Took a perfect game into the 6th inning of his second professional start.
Stats: 14 Starts all with the Brooklyn Cyclones. 5W 3L – 1.87 ERA – 96 K – 72.1 IP –
It should also be noted that as endearing as a 1.87 ERA is on July 29, 2008 he gave up 7 walks, 3 hits, 3 earned runs in 3.1 innings of work. His ERA for a day when he could not get out of the 4th inning was 8.10 he still managed 2 strikeouts. What I like to see here is: In the previous game he went 6 innings gave up no earned runs and struck out 14 on July 24. The lousy game happened. How did he respond? With pure heart. On August 3rd he went six strong innings giving up one run, 4 hits, 3 walks and struck out 5. This tells me? He had a bad start. Shook it off. Made adjustments i.e. he only struck out 5 and relied more on his brain than he did his arm. Without the game on July 24, his ERA would have been around 1.25.
Potential: I had to be careful when I did my first write up on Josh Thole because between the time I started to research him and the time I started to write, a buzz had begun to … well buzz. This time I am pulling no punches. I have seen Holt pitch in person he appears to have the heart of a lion and the brain of a UNC graduate.
X Factor: another thing you can’t research on the web, is this kid’s determination and ability to make adjustments. He already seems to have the on field demeanor of a big leaguer. In my opinion it is just a Question of when. I predict Citi Field in some capacity by 2010. You heard me. That is the season after next.
Up-Side: He did four years in college so is likely on the fast track. I don’t think he will need more than 75-85 innings in AA ball before people start to talk. He possesses tremendous control of his fastball to the point were I would almost say he throws 2 different fast balls as well as a change up. Very high ceiling. Just for comparison, I did not see as much potential in Pelfrey or Heilman after they were drafted. I won’t discuss the gentleman down in Tampa who I saw a lot of potential in as well.
Down-Side: Secondary pitches take time to develop, and even more time to master. At this stage in his career he seems to reach for the fastball a little to soon and often when the count does not necessarily call for an out pitch yet. Big leaguers will see that and make him pay in sums of great pride. He needs to spend next year mastering his secondary pitches. He does have the motion and build to throw a good cutter (that’s a cut fast ball to all of you non catchers out there, and a slider to anybody over the age of fifty. Maybe he can start to develop one of those.
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