There’s no denying Brock Holt’s importance to the Boston Red Sox team. From the first-ever postseason cycle to the hugs given to J.D. Martinez after the designated hitter clubbed one out of the park, he always was cheering on his teammates.
If you rewind to a year ago, though, the utility man wasn’t sure he’d even be on Boston’s Opening Day roster. Injuries riddled Holt’s 2016 and 2017 seasons, which caused some questions about whether he’d make the team under first-year manager Alex Cora.
“He said, ‘Hey, man. We think you’re a good player but we’ve got to play it out and see what happens,’” Holt said, via MassLive. “Obviously I wanted to go in there and I wanted him to say, ‘Hey, man. Don’t worry about it.’ But you want to get the truth. I had so much respect for him already. But for him to go in there and be honest with me and just let me know, that’s all you want as a player. You want to know what’s going on, whether you like it or you don’t. You want to be told the truth. And that’s what he did.”
It obviously worked out in the Red Sox’s favor, as Holt quickly became a fan-favorite from his quirky outfits for road trips or blasting Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” as his walk-up song last year. And who could forget his adorable featuring his son, Griffin Holt.
But Holt’s likability was in the clubhouse, too, and that encouraged him to be more vocal. Cora noticed as much and even referred to Holt as a team leader in a spring training press conference.
“It’s good to hear those words from your manager and your teammates,” Holt said. “I just try to have a good time and be here for whoever it is and root for whoever’s out there playing. I feel like last year I was able to be more myself because I was healthy. I felt good. I felt like I could go out and do what I was capable of doing. The previous two years I wasn’t as vocal. I wasn’t as outgoing because I was fighting some things that I was going through. Kind of my whole mindset was completely changed last year because I was healthy — and I was having so much fun.”
We’re assuming Holt will pick up right where he left off last year and bring even more energy and fun into the dugout when the Red Sox begin their regular season March 28 on the road against the Seattle Mariners.
Thumbnail photo via Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports Images