Stephenville now has another product to join the ranks of professional athletes.
Former Yellow Jacket baseball player Brock Holt, currently of the Rice Owls, was drafted on Wednesday in the ninth round of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I was actually on my to get something to eat,” said Holt about finding out the news. “I had watched through about the sixth round and I got hungry. I was on my way and a buddy called me and said, ‘Congratulations.’ Right after I got through talking to him, the Pirates called me.”
Brock spent the 2009 year patrolling the middle infield for the Division I baseball powerhouse Owls, which has produced big leaguers such as Jose Cruz Jr. and Houston’s Lance Berkman.
“I felt good going into draft day,” said Holt. “I met with about 15 different teams that have shown interest. I thought I’d go a little higher, maybe between the fourth and seventh rounds, so I’m a little disappointed, but it’s good to go in the top 10 rounds. I’m just glad to hear my name called.”
Holt still has one more year of eligibility with Rice and if an agreement with the Pirates isn’t reached, Holt can return to the Owls next season.
“I don’t feel any pressure to get a deal done,” said Holt. “I’m going to meet with the coaches and they’ll tell me to do what’s best for me. I’m in a good situation at Rice and we have a good chance to go to Omaha next year. Coming into the draft I wanted to go ahead and sign, but if it doesn’t work out then I’m happy where I’m at.”
The former Jacket hit .348 for the Owls in ‘09 with 12 homeruns and 43 RBIs, and had a .975 fielding percentage.
The Owls were swept out of the NCAA Super Regional by Louisiana State University.
Prior to his Rice days, Holt played two seasons at Navarro Junior College where he was a two-time, first team All-Texas Eastern Athletic Conference shortstop.
In his final season at Navarro, Holt batted .405 with 33 RBI, 60 runs scored, 14 doubles, six triples and seven home runs and was a member of the national Junior College All-Star team.
In high school, the 2006 graduate played under coach Julio Jimenez and was a four year letterman and a two-time first team All-District shortstop.
“He is one of those kids that did everything you asked him to do, was well prepared and a hard worker,” said Jimenez. “He took care of business on and off the field. He’s a coach’s dream. I’m sure he has been dreaming of this day since he was little. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer kid and it’s awesome to see how far he’s gone.”
Holt hasn’t forgotten his old coach, and said they have been in contact in the days leading up to the draft.
“(Julio) called me and we’ve been talking the last couple of days. I have to thank him for everything he’s done for me. He’s been like a second dad,” said Holt.
The Pirates (26-32) are currently seven games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the lead in the National League Central, and haven’t posted a winning record since 1992.
“I don’t know that much about the Pirates,” admitted Holt. “I grew up a Texas Ranger fan and watch a lot of American League games, but I didn’t really care who drafted me. I’m just happy to be drafted and I’m hoping to get a deal done.”
Should Holt not reach an agreement with the Pirates, he will return to college and is eligible for the draft next June.