Third base is far from the easiest position to play on the field. This is especially true in the Major Leagues. To play at the hot corner, you need razor-sharp vision. You also need lightning-quick reflexes. Of all the infield positions, third is where the ball travels the fastest. If you can play third base effectively, and be just as good at the plate, then you are a very special player. While possible, it isn’t easy to do both. Texas Rangers third baseman Brock Holt is learning this firsthand. It has been a slow year for Holt. He has done well in the field, but he has struggled at the plate. Here is a look at Brock Holt’s 2021 season.
Another Shortened Season
This year, Holt has played in 63 games. That is only three more than the pandemic-shortened season of 2020. He was placed on the 10-day IL in early May. He was bothered by tightness in his right hamstring. This was a strange turn in Brock Holt’s 2021 season. Up until the injury, he was hitting .250 with five RBI in 15 games. Of those games, 14 were starts. Once Holt went down, the Rangers called up infielder Andy Ibanez from Triple-A Round Rock to take his place. Holt returned from the injured list on May 20th. Both he and Ibanez are currently with the team.
During Holt’s 2021 season, he has shown more with his glove than he has with his bat. This season, he has a .974 fielding percentage. He has made an error here and there, but he has done well for the most part. Both he and shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa have held it together nicely on the left side of the infield. As for Kiner-Falefa, he holds a fielding percentage of .973. That is one point below Holt’s percentage. So, it seems that they are both evenly matched at their positions. It’s a safe bet that Rangers’ manager Chris Woodward seldom hesitates when putting their names in the lineup every day.
At the Plate
This year, Holt is hitting an even .200 in 190 at-bats. That translates into 38 base hits. He has two home runs, 16 RBI, and 18 runs scored. Also, he has mixed in five stolen bases. He is definitely not the most formidable bat in the Rangers’ starting nine. However, he has proven that he is capable of putting the bat on the ball. He usually bats seventh in the lineup, and he has good nights, and bad nights. That is something that the average human being has in common with major league ballplayers. We all have good nights and bad nights.
Entertaining on the Mound
On Saturday, the Rangers had no choice but to call on Holt once again. Trailing the Oakland Athletics 12-3 in the eighth inning, he was brought in to pitch. With a taxed bullpen behind him, and A’s infielder Josh Harrison at the dish, Holt threw a perfect strike on the first pitch. That perfect strike also happened to be a 31 mph eephus pitch. That is no typo. In fact, according to MLB.com, it was the slowest pitch ever thrown during a game since pitches began getting tracked by current technology in 2008. It was Holt’s third career pitching appearance, and it was also a perfect inning.
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