Derek Holland was drafted in the 25th round in 2006, from Wallace State Community College in Alabama. He was a draft-and-follow pick, signing in May 2007 for $200,000. His pro debut was very successful: 3.22 ERA with an 83/21 K/BB in 67 innings for Spokane in the Northwest League, with 57 hits allowed. I did not put him in the 2008 book. I can't remember why, it may just have been an oversight. I should have: his K/IP was excellent. He should have been at least a Grade C+ prospect.
Holland opened 2008 with Clinton in the Midwest League, going 7-0, 2.40 in 17 starts with a 91/29 K/BB in 94 innings, just 77 hits and two homers allowed. Promoted to Bakersfield in the Cal League, he went 3-1, 3.19 with a 37/5 K/BB in 31 innings and 20 hits allowed. Promoted then to Frisco in the Texas League, hes' 3-0, 0.90 in his first three outings with a 22/4 K/BB in 20 innings. His combined line on the year: 13-1, 2.36, 150/38 K/BB in 145 innings, 107 hits allowed, just 3 homers.
Obviously, his statistics are excellent. I don't see anything to nitpick. Everything is above average or better, and he's maintained his ratios as he has moved up. The scouting reports are terrific. Holland was throwing 90-92 early in the year at Clinton, but over the last couple of months that has increased well into the mid-90s. Check out this report from Jamey Newberg for example. Holland's secondary pitches still need a bit of polish, but everything I have read and heard indicates that the combination of plus stuff and sharp command is special.
Holland is a Grade B+ prospect at a minimum right now and perhaps an A-. If he stays healthy, he could be an excellent pitcher.