If you aren’t a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, you’ve probably never heard of Brock Holt. But after his 4-for-5 night in the Buccos’ win over the Astros on Tuesday, you may be hearing more of him soon.
With Neil Walker out of the lineup, Holt has started the past three games at second base and has collected six hits in the process. The September call-up was Pittsburgh’s 9th round selection in the 2009 Draft out of Rice University. Certainly Walker is in no danger of losing at bats once he’s healthy enough to play, but Dejan Kovacevic wonders if veteran shortstop Clint Barmes may have some competition.
The question now: Can he bump Clint Barmes when Neil Walker returns? Before this year, he made more appearances at short (125) than at second (116). Error count means little in the minors (bad fields), but he still never had more than 14 in a season. He’s hardly great there, especially in terms of range. But the bat just HAS to play right now.
Holt weighs in at only 165 lbs and has played in all of 28 games above Double-A, but he showed an ability to get on base in the minor leagues. Barmes is a slick fielder, but Pittsburgh could certainly benefit from an upgrade in the order. As it stands, a .557 OPS is among the worst offensive performers in the league and Pirate shortstops this season have reached base barely 25 percent of the time.
While Holt doesn’t have the range of Barmes, if Clint Hurdle wants to keep his club in the race, Holt should probably see some time starting ahead of the veteran.
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