#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.

ERA G/GS IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG WHIP K/BB BB/9 SO/9 HR/9 GB% R/9
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

There are 5 comments

  1. WC

    I’m worried about Holt’s velocity, but that’s a really harsh analysis of your #7 prospect, especially given the injury. Fastball-only bullpen guy as your optimistic projection?

    1. Toby Hyde

      It would make him an MLB contributor. Remember, most of these guys simply won’t have MLB careers at all. I’ve removed that comment from Pangloss’s comment b/c it’s really not a “best of all possible worlds scenario.”

      1. WC

        I don’t even have a problem with a bullpen projection. It just seems interesting that your #7 prospect gets “#3 starter or fastball only reliever” while your #9 prospect gets “or bullpen beast.” It’s semantics, but just going by stuff and upside, if Holt has the lesser ceiling the ranking would seem odd, even if he is closer to the majors.

        Heard a lot of people say they think Holt could be a monster in the pen if the curve comes along even slightly. It really does depend on where we see his fastball at in a few weeks. If it’s still topping out in the low 90s after an offseason of rest, middle relief projection might be right.

        I’m down the block from nyseg, gonna try to get there for one of his early home starts myself.

    2. Not4Nuttin

      Agreed WC. While questions existed about his secondary stuff heading into last year, from what I recall, he was showing pretty good progress last year until he got injured. I truly believe his results suffered from the injury and not the jump to AA. Same with Mejia last year. After hurting his finger, he never looked the same all of last year. Until this Spring and we know how he looks now.

      I think we’ll see the velocity back up in the mid-90’s from Holt, and further development of his secondary pitches throughout the year.

      The one thing that bothers me is how far out in front of the mound he lands when pitching. It almost looks like he is jumping. I don’t have any basis for it bothering me, except it doesn’t look right – seems like too much effort and maybe hard to disguise what he is throwing. Anyone else have any thoughts on it?

  2. Michael Diaz

    I believe this is a big year for Holt. He was the talk of the NYP 2 years ago,. For him to start out dominant in St Lucie, then to struggle in Binghamton, sometimes guys need a reality check. Holt has something to prove to people who think he will ultimately become a reliever. Let’s hope he works hard, and is focused this season.

    Most “experts” see Holt as a reliever, due to the lack of secondary pitches. His fastball command and velo, gives him a chance to be above average out of the pen. If he was airing it out for one inning, I am sure his velo would be in the mid 90s consistently. That said, he will get every opportunity to make it as a starter, which is the best choice.

    I wouldn’t worry about his mechanics, I personally like to see a power pitcher drive towards the plate. I have yet to hear any reason for concern.

    Remember guys Parnell is a one pitch guy. Secondary stuff, is way behind, and he doesn’t command the fastball all that great. Holt has better command, and flashes at times a solid curve, but there is still much room for improvement. So if Holt ends up in the pen, that’s really not a terrible thing. Good to have power arms at the end of the game, right?

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