Brock Holt slides into home plate safely against Cleveland. Credit: Getty Images
Four different positions in a week's span. It’s something a Little Leaguer learning the game of baseball for the first time, trying to figure out what position he likes best, may encounter. Brock Holt is not in Little League anymore – he’s doing this at the highest of hardball levels, as he’s played left field, third base, first base and most recently, right field for the Red Sox.
Interestingly enough, Holt came up through the minors as a shortstop with the Pirates before being traded to the Red Sox prior to last season. Even through playing multiple positions, he hasn’t seen any time at his “natural position” of shortstop.
His toughest test to date came Saturday as he manned right field at Fenway – a park with plenty of tricky dimensions. But as Holt has done everywhere he’s played, he didn’t bat an eye.
“Yeah, I would say so just because there is a lot of room to cover out there, especially here at Fenway,” said Holt when asked if right field was his most daunting assignment. “Then being an afternoon game, the sun was pretty tough as well. Like I said, it was fun, a new challenge, and I’m glad I got the opportunity to do it.”
What’s most impressive is that Holt had never played a position besides shortstop, third base or second base at any point in his baseball career until roughly two weeks ago. The Fort Worth, Texas native’s easy-going, calm attitude has served him well with his ever changing role this season.
“That’s my mindset, just go day-by-day,” he said. “Wait and see the lineup and see where I am at, then get ready to play wherever that day.”
The 26-year-old has earned the increased versatility because of the way he has performed at the plate, particularly in the lead-off spot as he’s been the only guy to have any real success at the top of the order of the five players the Red Sox have had hit there this season.
Going into Sunday, Holt has reached base in 21 of his 23 starts as the lead-off batter and is hitting .346 from the top spot, the best in the majors. Overall, he has hit safely in 22 of his last 25 games overall, with multiple hits in 12 of those 25 contests, hitting .358 in that span.
“Just getting in a good position to hit, you know, confidence has a lot to do with it,” said Holt. “I feel comfortable, but I am getting myself in a good position to hit, get a good pitch and put a good swing on it.”
Even with limited major league experience, Holt has earned full confidence from manager John Farrell no matter where he’s playing.
“He’s done a very good job wherever we’ve put him,” Farrell said.
Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter:@RyanHannable