FanPost

Derek Holland


After watching him a few times and reading all the reports on him I had mixed feelings. After watching him a lot more I have a totally different opinion.

 

Fastball

  • 92-94 does go as low as 89 and does touch 96. But sits 92-94.
  • Solid location. Occasional lapses of command.
  • Some games had no control, but usually attacked the zone.
  • Would attack inside on RH hitters
  • Typically down in the zone but would go up in the zone
  • I've read his pitch has lots of life. It's not flat. But not much life. That's cool though, for his velocity and location it's more than plenty.

Curveball

  • More of a slurve pitch now
  • Occasionally has true curve break
  • Very new pitch to him. I think it had been shelved for more than a year. Maddux brought it back in 2nd or 3rd game in MLB.
  • While he can have trouble locating it for strikes it's hard to hit.
  • Struggled when hitters laid off of it. Since they laid off the low or inside breaking ball he countered by hanging some high in the zone that got clobbered.
  • Has a curve velocity but I think release point is his difficulty. Once he gets that under control he will get better control. My question is: with a consistent release point what type of curve will he have. If it's to be a slurve then he will have struggles against patient teams. If it's a consistent curve break then it's projected as a much better pitch.

Slider

  • I heard how great it was. Wow. I'm not sure what they watched. Or did I just see something different?
  • 85 mph slider with very little movement
  • Worked fine when he backdoored it to RH hitters. Almost acts like a tailing fastball. Except it doesn't break late. And it doesn't have velocity. But it can steal some strikes when used properly. I wouldn't shelve it, just use it about 3-4 times a game to steal a strike on 0-0 counts.

Change

  • The announcers mentioned this was his best pitch.
  • Personally I didn't see one pitch that was clearly a change.
  • I saw many that were the velocity of either the change or the slider or the curve
  • The slider had little movement and didn't look like a slider, so I could understand some mistaking it for a change. And it was 85 which is well within the range of what his change would be.
  • The curve confused because it was a slurve. But it shouldn't be confused with the change. It was 15+ mph less than the fastball.

Outlook

  • I really like his fastball
  • I didn't like him nearly as much until I found out his curve had been shelved. It had it's warts. But I'm very impressed with it considering it was shelved and then just brought back.
  • Without a real change against patient good hitting RH teams he will get lit up. Fortunately there are not many teams that do this.
  • If his curve improves he could be looking at an upside of a solid #2 pitcher. Yeah, if the curve is totally dominant or the change becomes a weapon he could be more. But potential for #1 is so much more rare than people are willing to admit.
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