While Holland finished 10th overall in the Minors with 157 strikeouts, he was third among southpaws behind the Giants' Madison Bumgarner and the Blue Jays' Brad Mills. Among full-season pitchers, his 2.27 ERA was 10th overall (sixth among lefties) and he also was 10th in opponents' batting average (second on the LHP list).
Scouting report: Holland used a fastball that sat around 93-96 mph but got even stronger as the year went on, touching as high as 98 mph in Double-A. He commanded it well, with some sink. He also throws a good changeup and a slider at around 80 mph. He repeats his delivery very well.
Upside potential: Holland may have advanced more than any Minor League pitcher in terms of expectations and now looks like he could be a front-of-the-rotation starter in the not-too-distant future.
He said it: "The season went well because I worked hard, but I also got plenty of support from my teammates, from Clinton all the way up to Frisco. It also helped having the older guys around to show me a thing or two. What worked so well for me was being able to communicate with my catchers and staying ahead of the hitters. It was huge, and that was what helped me to keep having the hitters guessing. I feel as the year went along, I got stronger and my pitches became a little better. My mental game became a lot stronger. Also as the year progressed, I had a better understanding of how to pitch and could pick up on more things from the way a hitter reacted. It was also a plus playing with great defense behind me."
They said it: "Derek is a classic case of outstanding amateur scouting. We projected him to continue to improve. Did we think he'd throw 95-98? It's hard to ever project that. He's gotten stronger, he's gotten better with his work ethic. It's a testament to our scouting, our coaching staff and to his dedication to improving now that he's settled into the pro side." -- Rangers Director of Minor League Operations John Lombardo