#7 – RHP Brad Holt

Bats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 6’4”/200lbs

Acquired: Supplemental 1st Rd ’08 , 33rd Overall (UNC Wilmington)

Born: 10/13/86 (Albemarle, NC)

2009 Rank: 3

Why Ranked Here: Holt drops four spots because he simply didn’t pitch that well in AA.  He stays in the top 10 because he has a great pitcher’s frame and had shown a plus-plus fastball in the past although it lost a little life in ’09.  Beyond the results, his velocity dipped from 94-95 in the NYP in ’08 to 92-93 when I saw him in Binghamton in early July.  To be fair, at that time, Holt was coming off an injury to his right ankle, but if he wasn’t fully healthy, he should not have been pitching.  (Where have we heard this before Mets fans?) Without his bigger velocity, he could no longer work up in the zone with his heater, and batters hurt him when he tried.  His curveball had made some progress, but was still a below average MLB offering.  His changeup also remained below average.

Holt survived, and thrived at the lower levels on his velocity.  However, to have success at AA and eventually the big leagues as a starter, Holt must learn to work hitters better.  He simply did not throw his secondary offerings enough to keep even AA hitters off-balance.  However, when he used the pitches in unpredictable sequences, that is, not on 0-2, or not doubling up on an offering, he was much more effective, offering some modest hope for the future.

2009: Holt’s ’09 got off to an awful start, when he allowed nine runs in 3.2 innings on Opening Night in the FSL, but was absolutely dominant over the next two months in advanced-A.  In his next eight starts at the level, he allowed just seven more runs, fanning 49 and walking just 9 for a brilliant K/BB of 5.4 in his next 39.2 innings.

Holt’s AA time began well enough on June 5th when he held Connecticut to two hits over 6.1 innings. However, he tweaked his right, push ankle while away from the park after that first start and was not effective at AA for the rest of the year. After ten more starts in which he struggled from late June to the middle of August, the Mets shut Holt down because his ankle was once again causing problems.  He wasn’t particularly unlucky, he was just getting hit hard: his BABIP was a reasonable .297, but his groundball percentage was an anemic 37.3%.  To my eyes, his conditioning also took  a hit from the injury.

Dr. Pangloss Says: #3 starter

Debbie Downer Says: If Holt’s heater doesn’t pick back up this spring, he’s just another middle reliever.

Projected 2010 Start: Binghamton Rotation, with Buffalo a possibility too

MLB Arrival: Holt clearly pitched his way out of the Mets plans for the 2010 season, so will need a strong 2010 to catapult himself back into the  mix in 2011 or even 2012.

08 SSA – NYP 1.87 14/14 72.1 43 18 15 3 33 96 .171 1.05 2.91 4.12 11.98 0.37 45.3 2.25
09 A+ 3.12 9/9 43.1 34 16 15 5 13 54 .215 1.09 4.15 2.71 11.28 1.04 40.0 3.34
09 AA 6.21 11/11 58 58 42 40 9 23 45 .270 1.40 1.96 3.57 6.98 1.40 37.3 6.52