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Christopher Michael Holt

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[edit] Biographical Information

Chris Holt was a pro baseball player having spent time in the minor and later major leagues.

During the 1992 season, Holt was named the Most Valuable Player of the North Texas Junior College Baseball Conference for leading the conference in shutouts and ERA. After a year at Navarro Junior College, Holt was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 3rd round (#69 overall) in the 1992 amateur draft.

After being drafted, Holt began his career in the Houston Astros organization in 1992 with the short season class single-A Auburn Astros of the New York-Penn League. He went 2-5 with a 4.45 ERA and struck out almost a batter per inning.

Holt was promoted to class single-A the following season of 1993 and played with the Midwest League's Quad City River Bandits. He posted a 11-10, 2.27 record, fanning 176 and allowing 162 hits in 186 innings (his ERA was mildly deceptive as almost a third of the runs against him were unearned). He completed 10 of 26 starts. Holt led all Astros farmhands in complete games, innings and strikeouts. He was third in the MWL in ERA behind Ugueth Urbina and LaTroy Hawkins and led the circuit in innings and complete games. He was 3 strikeouts behind league leader Hawkins. He was not named one of the league's top 10 prospects in a poll of league managers.

Holt was promoted up the ladder in the Houston Astros organization and played the 1994 season in the class AA Texas League with the Jackson Generals. He was 10-9 with a 3.45 ERA. His 5 complete games led Astros farmhands. His K rate fell (111 in 167 IP) but he walked only 24 batters. He placed 8th in the Texas League in ERA.

Holt returned to the Jackson Generals for the 1995 season but saw limited playing time with Jackson, which was just a total of five games, going 2-2 with a 1.67 ERA. Holt was promoted to AAA and played most of the season, a total of 20 games, with the Pacific Coast League's Tucson Toros. He was 5-8 with a 4.10 ERA for Jackson, allowing 155 hits in 118 2/3 IP.

Baseball America rated the Texas native as the #7 prospect in the Astros chain entering 1996, third among pitchers behind Billy Wagner and Scott Elarton. Holt again led Astros minor leaguers in innings (186), going 9-6 with a 3.72 ERA for Tucson with a 3.6/1 K/BB ratio. He led the PCL in innings and was 6th in ERA, between Bronswell Patrick and Jason Dickson (LaTroy Hawkins, his rival from 1993, was 8th). Holt's 209 hits allowed were two shy of PCL leader Brett Roberts. He was a September call-up that year. On September 1st, he made his big league debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He relieved Gregg Olson with a 9-5 deficit to open the 8th inning. He got Carlos Garcia on a grounder to Craig Biggio. Jason Kendall reached on an Orlando Miller error. John Wehner hit into a force at second, then was caught stealing to end Holt's first inning in The Show. Chris was 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in four outings for the Astros that year.

In 1997, Holt found himself with a full-time role in the majors, seeing playing time in 33 games while playing a full season with the Houston Astros. He was 8-12 with a 3.52 ERA (114 ERA+) as a regular member of the team's rotation. He was 9th in the National League in hits allowed (211) and tied numerous pitchers (including John Smoltz, Hideo Nomo, Fernando Valenzuela and Alex Fernandez) for 6th in the league in losses. As his ERA+ shows, it was a good season overall despite some of the negative marks.

Holt missed almost all of 1998 with injury, getting into one game with the Kissimmee Cobras and that's it.

Holt returned to the major leagues and to the Houston Astros in 1999, with a 5-13, 4.66 record. His won-loss record again was unrepresentative of his performance as his ERA+ was 96. It was an odd situation as Houston had a 97-win team that year, indicating either very bad luck or poor run support only when Holt took the hill. He was awful in the NLDS, allowing singles to all 3 batters he faced in an appearance against the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS and surrendering 3 runs for an ERA of infinity in the postseason.

Holt fell to 8-16, 5.35 (93 ERA+) for the Astros in 2000, giving up 247 hits in 207 innings. The lone bright spot came on April 28th, when he tossed a one-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers, allowing only a Ronnie Belliard single. Chris tied Javier Vazquez for 4th in the NL in hits surrendered, tied Jose Lima for 4th in losses and tied Jon Lieber for second in earned runs allowed (123, trailing only Lima).

After nine years with the Houston Astros organization, Holt left and played his career out with three different organizations over the course of the next three years. Holt played his last season in the majors with the Detroit Tigers in the year 2001 playing just 22 games. He continued to decline, going 7-9 but with a 5.77 ERA (74 ERA+). In 2002, Chris went 6-3 with a 3.71 ERA for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. His seeming resurgence earned him a look in Japan.

The Yokohama BayStars signed Holt midway through the 2002 season. He was 6-10 in 19 games for Yokohama, but walked only 11 in 111 innings and his 3.57 ERA was second among their regular starters behind only Daisuke Miura. In 2003, Holt faded to 5-14, 4.55 for Yokohama, allowing a .309 average (175 hits in 146 1/3 IP). He led the Central League in losses. He was actually one of the better pitchers, though, on a terrible Yokohama staff; only future big leaguer Takashi Saito had a better ERA among the starting rotation members.

Overall, Holt was 28-51 in the majors, 45-44 in the minors and 11-24 in Japan for a 84-119 composite record as a pro.

Sources include 1993-2003 Baseball Almanacs, Japan Baseball Daily by Gary Garland

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 2 (1997 & 2000)

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