I remember how he blew away everyone in his first spring camp and how coaches and players would stop what they were doing and gather around whenever the right-handed phenom was on the mound.
They would all be making the same exclamations you hear now about Zack Wheeler. There were even whispers that he could move quickly and be in the Mets rotation by 2010. Scouts drooled over the late movement on his fastball, and what a fastball it was.
The 21-year-old, got his first taste of pro ball in 2008, and the kid didn’t disappoint. Holt had a spectacular debut with the Brooklyn Cyclones where he led the New York-Penn League with a 1.87 ERA and racked up 96 strikeouts in 72 innings for an 11.9 K/9. It seemed like everyone was right and Holt would be with the Mets in no time. It looked like the Mets netted themselves a first rounder with true ace potential.
But then injuries and a failure to develop his secondary pitches all caught up with him and eventually it all came crashing down.
Holt represents a good example of how quickly things can change without those all-important secondary pitches and why so many other young phenoms hit a brick wall once they get to Double-A – that’s the level where you separate the men from the boys.
Let’s hope that all those great, young, Mets right-handers we keep hearing about, don’t suffer this same disappointing fate.