He Wouldn’t Be Missed: Brad Holt
Like every other team in baseball, the New York Mets had to make some tough decisions about who to add and who to leave off their 40-man roster before the December Rule 5 Draft. While the Mets opted to add Robert Carson, Jeurys Familia, Wilmer Flores, Reese Havens, Juan Lagares, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Cesar Puello to the roster, both Brad Holt and Collin McHugh did not make the cut. For those surprised to see Holt, a former top prospect and first round pick, exposed to other teams, the Mets actually made the correct decision.
Brad Holt is unfortunately a prime example of how, so often, prospects (and first round picks for that matter) just don’t materialize. Drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft, the right-hander dazzled scouts with his consistent mid-90’s fastball–and seemingly confirmed his acclaim by posting a 1.87 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 2.91 K/BB in 72.6 innings for the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2008. But while Holt continued to dominate Single-A hitters in 2009 (3.12 ERA, 1.08 K/BB, and 4.15 K/BB in 43.3 innings), the pitcher got spanked once he was bumped up to more advanced levels (6.21 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and 1.96 K/BB in 58 innings at Double-A).
The pitcher’s performance only worsened in 2010, hurling an ugly 10.20 ERA, 2.20 WHIP, and 1.09 K/BB in 30 innings at Double-A. Holt was so bad, the Mets demoted him back to Single-A to hopefully gain some confidence back. However, Holt couldn’t even fool Single-A hitters anymore (7.48 ERA, 1.90 WHIP, 1.11 K/BB in 65 innings). Struggles aside, the Mets decided to place Holt back in Double-A in 2011, but used him primarily out of the bullpen. His ERA and WHIP dropped to 4.71 and 1.41, respectively, but he still exhibited horrendous control (5.5 BB/9) and his formerly outstanding strikeout totals (11.9 K/9 in 2008) were nowhere to be found (7.1 K/9 in 2011).
Given Holt’s inability to dominate Minor League hitters over the past three seasons, it would be shocking to see a Major League team pick him in the Rule 5 Draft (and thus keep him on their active roster for the entire season). It’s possible the righty has a future out of the bullpen (given his velocity), but his career 5.1 BB/9 needs a lot of work first.