Ho(l)t At The Plate

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Saturday in Syracuse, Pawtucket Red Sox shortstop Brock Holt was hitless in four at-bats, lowering his overall batting average to .281.  Both numbers are noteworthy because Holt had hit safely in his previous 15 games, averaging 1.6 knocks per appearance, while elevating his average from .217.

In assembling the longest hitting streak by a member of the 2013 PawSox, Holt went 25-for-56 (.446)  Eight of those outings included at least two hits.

Holt actually started trending hot six days before beginning his streak.  On May 14, his average was .173; his on-base percentage .259.  He then collected hits in five of the next six games.  A little less than a month later, Holt entered the weekend hitting .287.

Of course, such tears aren’t unprecedented.  Just last summer, when Holt was employed by the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, they were the norm.

At Double-A Altoona, he captured the Eastern League batting title with a .322 average.  Promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis in early August, Holt batted .432 (41-for-95) in 24 games; 14 of them mult-hit outings, including eight three-hit performances.  Overall, his .344 average for the Bucs’ affiliates ranked third among minor leaguers with at least 450 at-bats.

Holt was called up to Pittsburgh to start September and concluded his first major league stint with a .292 mark (19-for-65) in 24 games.  Among them was a four-hit outburst against Houston on Sept. 4.

A day after Christmas, however, the Pirates traded Holt to the Red Sox.  The principles in the multi-player trade were relievers Joel Hanrahan, who joined Holt in transit to Boston, and Mark Melancon, who went the other way.

After leaving a solid impression on the Sox hierarchy during spring training’s Grapefruit League schedule, Holt was poised to get another look at the big leagues.

But through April, he was batting .157 with a .237 OBP.  In May, those figures jumped to .349 and .439.  Seven games into June, Holt was hitting .379, while reaching safely at a 40-percent rate.

Appearing on Sunday’s radio pre-game show from NBT Stadium, as you can hear by clicking on the link below, Holt attributes his 2013 turnaround to patience and confidence; the former helping to breed the latter.

The day after wearing a collar for the first time in 16 contests, Holt joked about starting anew and chasing down Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game streak.  On the second pitch of his first at-bat, he homered.

One down.  Fifty-five to go.

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