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Yankees Potential Free Agent Target: Brock Holt

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The former Red Sox utility man might be the right low-cost depth move for the Yankees.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Boston Red Sox Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since he was named to the 2015 All-Star team with a .792 OPS, I have harbored my own personal grudge against Brock Holt. After all, what did he bring to the team beyond an average bat and an ability to play all across the diamond? Add in the fact that he is beloved in Boston, and it’s easy to see why I’ve long thought him vastly overrated.

None of that matters, however, because he would fit perfectly in pinstripes in 2020.

At face value, Holt seems like an odd addition: he’s only had an OPS+ over 100 for two seasons and has battled injuries (including two concussions) that have limited him to 94, 67, 109, and 87 games the last four seasons. His Statcast numbers, meanwhile, describe a hitter with a perfectly league-average exit velocity, but who struggles to barrel the ball properly. He plays a lot of defensive positions, having at least 398 career innings at every spot except first base and center field, where he has had 200 and 75 innings, respectively. He doesn’t play any of them particularly well, though, and has cumulatively been about average across the diamond.

So how does he fit the Yankees? Two words: competent depth.

Holt has never been one to knock the cover up the ball, but he gets on base consistently. In fact, his .369 OBP would have been fourth on the Yankees, behind only Aaron Judge, Luke Voit, and DJ LeMahieu. Meanwhile, although he’s never exactly torn the cover off the ball, he has been making adjustments, almost doubling his launch angle from 6.3 to 11 degrees between 2018 and 2019. His two best seasons at the plate have also been his most recent (109 and 101 OPS+ in 2018 and 2019). He may only need one hand to count his home runs, but he’s not a black hole at the plate, and even with the expanded roster size, competent hitters that can play defense all over the diamond have their value.

If 2019 taught us anything, it’s that you can never have enough depth. And while Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada look like they could be contributing pieces of the roster, they both do have options—not to mention question marks. While Holt would not move the needle at the top end, he would most certainly be a solid piece that would allow the team to survive another injury-filled season, were one to occur. And, if he signs anywhere close to the two—year/$8 million contract that MLB Trade Rumors expects of him, he would not be a terrible investment.