Brock Holt Adds New Dimension to BoSox Infield Competition

Jim MorisetteCorrespondent IIIDecember 27, 2012

Boston Red Sox nation may not realize it yet, but Ben Cherington and Co. may have just stolen an under-the-radar ballplayer who may one day become a fan favorite in Beantown.

His name is Brock Holt. Along with Pedro Ciriaco, he has officially become Dustin Pedroia’s young understudy.

He could also be Matt Damon's look alike. 

Wednesday, Dan Duquette Jr. of NESN reported the Red Sox acquired this 24-year-old infielder along with Joel Hanrahan as part of a six-player trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Selected by the Pirates in the ninth round of the 2009 amateur entry draft, this Rice University alum had an outstanding 2012 season coming off a season-ending injury in 2011.

A scrappy contact hitter and a hustling defender, Holt began the season at Double-A Altoona Curve where he hit .322/.389/.821 in 102 games.

While impressive, Holt did not stop there. After a big promotion to the Indianapolis Indians of the Triple-A International League, the Rice Owl alum hit an astounding .432 (41-for-95) with a .476 OBP, .537 SLG and 1.013 OPS in 24 games.

Hard not to notice, the Pirates’ brass promoted Holt to the major leagues on Sept. 1, 2012. In 24 big league games, Holt batted .292 (19-for-65) with four multi-hit games.

Holt’s most impressive performance came against the Houston Astros on Sept. 4, when he went 4-for-5 with a double in Pittsburgh’s 6-2 victory.

Holt’s acquisition sets up an interesting dynamic at the second base position.

According to ESPN Boston writer Joe McDonald, the Red Sox want to sign Pedroia to a long-term contract, thus making him the face of the franchise.

If this happens this will create a stiff, fun-to-watch competition between Ciriaco and Holt for the backup 2B position in spring training.  

Interestingly, Ciricao and Holt are both former prospects and players within the Pirates organization.

Whichever player out-hits one another come March may become Pedroia’s backup. The player that does not may very well end up on the trading block.

Now, Ciriaco is a multi-dimensional infielder, which might give him the edge over Holt should the two end up playing equally well.

Ciriaco can also hit. In 2012, he batted .293 with 15 doubles in 76 games for the Red Sox.

More intriguing, this may set up yet another interesting scenario should the Jose Iglesias project not pan out.

With Stephen Drew recently signing a one-year deal with the Sox, Ciriaco may very well end up sliding over to shortstop to replace Drew one day.

This may leave Iglesias packing his bags for another big league city.

This is all speculation, of course. If anything, Holt may push Boston's infielders to not grow complacent over the winter.

But it also goes to show how fun it is to see how the addition of a guy like Holt creates ever-changing events on big league clubs.

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