Coming in to the 2011 season, one position player that I had my eye on was Brock Holt. The 23 year old middle infielder was making the jump to AA after putting up some impressive numbers in A-ball the previous two years. Holt was a ninth round pick in the 2009 draft, and signed almost immediately. He went on to hit for a .299/.361/.449 line in 254 at-bats in the New York-Penn League. In 2010 he hit for a .351/.410/.438 line in 194 at-bats in the Florida State League, having his season shortened by an MCL injury.
The impressive thing was that Holt put up strong numbers in two of the most pitcher friendly leagues in the minors. His jump to AA this year was a little aggressive, considering he skipped over full season A-ball, and had less than 200 at-bats in high-A. His numbers have taken a drop this year. He currently sits with a .277/.341/.371 line in 412 at-bats. He started off strong, with a .310 average in April, and a .284 average in May. However, he hit in the .260 range in June and July.
Holt had great numbers in A-ball, but those numbers do come with the disclaimer that he was coming out of college. That doesn’t mean he’s not a good hitter. In fact, his hitting is one of his best tools. I spoke with a scout in another organization who loved Holt’s hitting skills, and who said that he begged his team to draft Holt in 2009, only to see the Pirates take him ninth.
It’s hard to say how much the jump to AA affected him, although it doesn’t seem like he had any trouble at the start of the year. A big concern is that he’s shown a lack of power. That was disguised last year due to his .351 average driving his slugging percentage up over .400. Holt has some impressive speed, and defensively he can play shortstop, but he’s best fit as a second baseman. He profiles as a strong utility player, although if he can get back to hitting like he did in 2009 and 2010, and add a bit of power, he could emerge as a starting option in the majors one day.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.