Pirates Prospect Interview: Brock Holt

Shortstop Brock Holt was selected in the ninth round of the 2009 draft. Playing at State College last season Holt batted .299 with six home runs and 33 RBI. This year with the Bradenton Marauders the 21-year old is off to a great start, hitting .329 with one home run and 23 RBI. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko spoke with Holt recently.

GVB -- Were you happy with your first season in pro ball at State College?

BH -- Absolutely, going to State College I kind of didn't know what expect being my first professional experience and getting used to the wood bats. I started out real slow, but ended up finishing strong. I was satisfied with it. Playing every day is definitely a lot different than college. You play a lot of games in college, but not an every day thing like pro ball. Getting used to that was something I definitely had to get used to.

GVB -- The grind of pro ball is different, quite literally it is a job, right?

BH -- That's what I've told all my buddies, I like to play baseball, but it does become a job whenever you get to this level. I didn't expect it to be as hard as it was. It is tough playing every day. In college if you have a bad game you have a couple days off to think about it and regroup, but if you're in a slump you can slump for two or three days. That's 20 at bats right there and it just adds up. It was the hardest thing for me to get used to.

GVB -- They had you playing shortstop and second base at State College. This year at Bradenton you have been primarily a shortstop is that correct?

BH -- Yes, that's right. I played second base at Rice and I was drafted as a second baseman. Then I got to State College and our shortstop ended up getting injured so they moved me over there for a few games and I excelled over there. They kept me a shortstop and coming into spring training and instructional league I didn't know what the plan was, but they said they wanted me to play shortstop until I play myself out of it, so it looks like I'm at shortstop for right now.

GVB -- Do you have a preference?

BH -- As long as I'm on the field I don't really care where it's at. I do like playing shortstop more than second base, I guess because it is more like a premier position, but as long as I'm in the lineup I'm happy.

GVB -- How are you adjusting defensively? I noticed you've had some errors early this season.

BH -- At State College last year I had a great year defensively, I played 56 or 58 games at shortstop and I made eight or nine errors. I played real good defense at State College, this year I just got here and I missed like the first week or so with a pulled hamstring and I was kind of getting used to playing. I'm just in a funk right now; you can get in slumps defensively like you can offensively. I've kind of been in a slump working on my footwork and mostly it has been throwing. I've bounced balls wearing out our first baseman, but I think it's just a little slump that I'm in right now, but I'm starting to feel more comfortable over there. Hopefully the errors will decrease.

GVB -- Are you pleased with the way you are swinging the bat?

BH -- Yeah, that's one part of my game right now that I'm really pleased with. I feel like I've been seeing the ball pretty well and making good solid contact. I've been real comfortable in the box. This is really my first full season and skipping Low A – I didn't know how the pitching was going to be and how I would stack up, but I'm pleased with how things are going. I've just got to stay consistent at the plate and keep things rolling.

GVB -- This must be a fun team to play on at Bradenton?

BH -- It's a blast; this team has a lot of good players and a good offense to play in and hit in. We've got some good arms on the mound and it should be a fun year. So far so good, we've got good team chemistry and I'm looking forward to the rest of the year with these guys.

GVB -- You skipped Low A at West Virginia and they moved you to High A at Bradenton. Do you have a timetable for yourself and are you pleased with the progress that you've made?

BH -- Yeah, I am pleased. Coming into this year it is kind of what I wanted to do, I wanted to skip Low A and start here. That was a goal of mine. Finding out that I was going to start at Bradenton was a big thrill for me and I'm just trying to take it day by day one game at a time and just stay healthy and stay consistent. I need to cut down on my errors, which I think I will do. I've always been a defensive minded guy. I'm just trying to stay positive and hopefully continue putting up good numbers and helping us win and see what happens from there.

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