"It's his ability to adapt to a new position as quick as he has that's surprising," Farrell said. "Knowing how he is as a competitor and his baseball intelligence, that's not surprising. The ability to adapt is."
Holt played mostly second base coming through the Pirates' Minor League system, but when he was acquired by the Red Sox in December 2012, he needed a new position. The 5-foot-10 utility man played 21 games at third base this season before shifting to first for about a week with Mike Napoli on the disabled list.
With Stephen Drew back on the club and Xander Bogaerts sliding to third, Holt appeared to be the odd man out in a crowded infield. However, his .331 average and .823 OPS have kept him not only in the lineup, but in the leadoff spot. It's just his defensive spots that change.
"He's always hit for high average primarily playing second base, but the athleticism, we felt he could be a utility type," Farrell said. "But I think he's exceeded the versatility on the defensive side."
Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.