Holt named to A.L. All-Star team as reserve


BOSTON -- On what was supposed to be a roster full of mega-watt, high-profile players, with the biggest payroll in franchise history, Brock Holt is the Red Sox' only chosen All-Star.

Holt was named as one of the reserves for the American League team that will take part in the All-Star Game next week in Cincinnati.

Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox' shortstop, was named as one of the five players to be selected by fan voting for the Final Man on the A.L. roster, giving the Red Sox a chance at a second player to represent them.

Holt began the year as a utility man on the Red Sox bench, but because of the offense he contributed, gradually earned himself a spot as nearly an everyday player.

He has played seven different positions this season, with the most time spent in right field. More recently, he has been the team's everyday second baseman as Dustin Pedroia spends time on the disabled list with a strained hamstring.

"It's pretty surreal,'' said Holt in a conference call. "I'm just honored to be able to represent the Red Sox and the organization at the All-Star Game. It's something I didn't expect coming into the year, but I'm glad it happened and I'm excited about the opportunity.''

Holt had played second and short and a bit of third base while in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. But the Red Sox had him try the outfield, and eventually, first base.

This year and last, he's played every position but catcher and pitcher.

Holt, 27, is batting .295 with 30 runs scored, 15 doubles, 4 triples, 2 home runs, 21 RBI, 5 stolen bases and 30 walks in 66 games. He leads the Red Sox with a .383 OBP, a figure that ranks him seventh among American League players with 250 plate appearances.

He becomes the first player ever chosen for the All-Star game after appearing at those seven positions in the first half.

"I take a lot of pride in (my versatility), '' he said. "It's something I didn't start doing until last year and to be honest, I didn't expect that. It just sort of happened, just something that worked out. I take a lot of pride in being able to move around and help out when I can and where I can.

"I enjoy doing that. It's a lot of fun.''

Holt was told of his selection after Sunday's game by manager John Farrell. American League manager Ned Yost said Holt's versatility was one of the big reasons he was selected.

"Honestly, I never would have thought about it,'' said Holt of the ability to play multiple positions. "I had never played outfield at all at any level until last year. Obviously I didn't think, growing up, I'm going to play outfield and first base in the big leagues. It's just something that kind of happened. I've found a home in Boston and (being able to move around) helped me find a place and kind of stick.

"Being able to give John that flexibility to put me in whenever and wherever and have the confidence to do that kind of gives me the confidence to play hard.''

Holt would love to bring Bogaerts along with him to Cincinnati. Bogaerts is on the Final Man ballot along with New York's Brett Gardner, Detroit's Yoenis Cespedes, Kansas City's Mike Moustakas and Minnesota's Brian Dozier.

"That would be huge,'' said Holt of the prospect of Bogaerts making the team. "Xander has been one of our most consistent players on both sides of the ball. He's been unbelievable offensively and defensively. In my opinion, he's one of the best shortstops in baseball. He's 22 years old and I'm sure he's going to have his share of All-Star games.


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