Scouting Mets Prospect #3: Brad Holt

Brad Holt looks to rebound from his AA debut

The New York Mets made Brad Holt one of their three first round picks in 2008. Since then, the right-hander has been a fast riser who has shown off loads of promise. Like any young pitcher, there were bumps in the road in Double-A but Holt remains a top guy who could contribute in New York in the very near future. Check out Holt's scouting report to find out how he can help.

To discuss all of the scouting reports, head to the Subscribers Forum

Vital Statistics
Name: Brad Holt
DOB: October 13, 1986
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 200
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Status: Supplemental 1st Round (2008) – UNC-Wilmington

There was no question Brad Holt was one of the top pitching prospects on the farm heading into the season, and remained one coming out of the 2009 season. The biggest question about Holt was how his impressive talent and tools would develop during his first full season. The organization planned to quickly move the right-hander up the ladder, and did so by promoting him to Double-A in late June.

Holt, who dominated the New York-Penn League with Brooklyn during his rookie season in 2008, blazed through the Florida State League. In nine High-A starts, Holt went 4-1 with a 3.12 ERA with 54 strikeouts and held opponents to a .215 batting average. That prompted a move up to Double-A, but that is when the setbacks began.

Holt gave up two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings in his first start with the B-Mets, but rolled his ankle on the dugout step and spent the rest of his summer battling back from that injury and mechanical inconsistencies born from it.

"I got to Double-A and had that one start before I rolled my ankle and ended up missing six or seven starts," said Holt. "Coming back from that was pretty rough. My first start back, I wasn't right. My arm was back in shape but I wasn't ready to go back and pitch and I couldn't throw any strikes. "

The right-hander struggled in his first two starts back, when he gave up nine earned runs in 3 2/3 innings. Yet, it appeared he turned a corner over his next three starts when he gave up five earned runs over 18 2/3 innings with 24 strikeouts against four walks.

Then the struggles returned as he battled through recurring pain in the ankle. Holt did not get the ideal extension needed to give the explosive life to his fastball and the movement of his secondary pitches. The results made him very hittable. He gave up five runs or more in five of his last six starts.

"I think when he got up there, he was really starting to put everything together with his mechanics and then he sprained his ankle real bad," said Mets pitching coordinator Rick Waits.

"He strained it pretty good and I don't think he pitched the rest of the season at 100 percent. I think it set him back a little bit because it took him longer to find mechanics, his rhythm and how he needed to throw the baseball especially to the glove side."

Despite injuries, illness—strep throat ended Holt's season two weeks early—Holt is very confident a shaky first showing in Double-A is something he will overcome and was an experience that could pay off in the long run.

"I immediately saw the difference between the two levels because the hitters are way more selective and patient. They're just best hitters and I know I have to take my next game to the next level," said Holt

"There were definitely some rough spots this year, but I think it's something that will help. I would have liked the season to go differently, but it's all a work in progress that will help me be better pitcher in the future."

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2009

Binghamton

3-6

0

58.0

58

23

45

6.21

2009

St. Lucie

4-1

0

43.1

34

13

54

3.12

2008

Brooklyn

5-3

0

72.1

43

33

96

1.87



Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup

Fastball: Holt's fastball ranged from 91-95 MPH this season , but sits at the higher end of that range with good running action away from left-handers when he gets the proper extension. He demonstrates very good command and location, hitting his target with regularity. When he stays on top of the pitch, he gets good driving finish on a downward plane to the bottom of the strike zone. When his delivery opens up, the fastball stays up in the zone and can be a catalyst to a break down in command. He owns a plus fastball, but extension is imperative to keeping it as such.

Other Pitches: Holt's 83-86 MPH curveball has plus potential. His curveball has snapping overhand break with late movement that can become a better swing-through pitch with greater repetition. How he finishes the pitch plays a significant part in its effectiveness. When he short arms the curveball, it flattens out and hangs over the plate. When he drives his body and arm through the pitch, he can command it down in the zone and miss bats, or generate a solid number of ground balls. Holt did not use his changeup much in St. Lucie, but improved in Double-A when he forced himself to throw it more. His changeup is a steady 83-84 MPH with improving command and tailing action. It is an effective third option but needs greater repetition and feel.

Pitching: Consistent mechanics and extension are the key ingredients to Holt's success. When he stays on top his pitches and uses his strength in his lower half to drive towards the plate, his pitches have the strong finish and become harder for hitters to drive. His fastball has a high swing-through rate, and his changeup shows flashes off matching it. Holt is a true power pitcher who did a better job of mixing his secondary pitches this season, but is still learning to become more of a pitcher than a thrower. A clean finish to his repertoire provides stamina deeper into games and keeps his velocity up in the later innings. He uses his fastball and curveball in any count, but is still working to include his changeup at a higher ratio.

Projection: Holt's ultimate projection at the big league level is heavily dependent on his changeup. If it can match the success of his top two pitches, Holt has the chance to become a legitimate arm on the front half of the rotation. His current tools do not project him as a number one ace, but his physical size and strength, and ability to keep his velocity up in later innings can land him safely as a number two. If that projection fails to come to fruition, Holt has the power fastball and curveball to develop into a closer.

ETA: 2010. Ideally, the organization would like to keep Holt on the farm for the entire season unless there is a pressing need to have Holt fill a spot. Such a situation could have Holt arrive at some point mid-season, but the right-hander will see big league action at some point this season whether early or after September 1.

InsidePitchMagazine.com Recommended Stories