Derek Holland
Derek Holland
32-Year-Old PitcherSP
San Francisco Giants
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Left for the scrap heap, Holland made changes to revive his game. The southpaw bolstered his K/9 by nearly two strikeouts (a new career best) and lowered his walk rate nearly 1.5 per nine. His ERA improvement of 2.63 runs was the second-greatest decrease in the majors. Holland adjusted his mound positioning, which boosted his sinker and improved his swinging-strike rate by three percentage points (10.1%). With sinker-leaning pitchers that have a questionable history of strikeouts, like Holland, expecting a dip is safe, and that 3.57 ERA probably represents his peak with this skill set. Holland didn't show big splits, but pitching home assignments at a pitcher-friendly den like AT&T Park (now Oracle Park) helped and his return to the Giants on a one-year deal bodes well for his chances of repeating some of his 2018 success. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Giants in January of 2019. Contract includes a $6.5 million team option for 2020.
Strong start to spring
PSan Francisco Giants
March 12, 2019
Holland owns a 3.38 ERA with six strikeouts over eight innings (two starts) this spring.
The Giants retained Holland after he proved effective as their fifth starter last season (3.57 ERA and 2.5 K/BB ratio over 171.1 innings). The veteran appears to have a clear path to the rotation but will still have to fend off several younger options vying for his job this spring. If the southpaw begins the year in the rotation, his high strikeout rate and favorable home park make him worth a look in deeper formats.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .210 378 62 32 71 7 0 6
Since 2016vs Right .282 1436 278 145 355 87 8 59
2018vs Left .168 162 27 14 24 3 0 0
2018vs Right .262 565 142 53 130 39 3 19
2017vs Left .237 134 18 13 28 4 0 5
2017vs Right .305 492 86 62 128 27 4 26
2016vs Left .247 82 17 5 19 0 0 1
2016vs Right .282 379 50 30 97 21 1 14
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2016Home 4.18 1.40 202.1 13 13 0 7.7 3.6 1.0
Since 2016Away 5.37 1.51 211.1 8 19 0 7.2 4.1 1.8
2018Home 3.51 1.22 82.0 4 4 0 8.9 2.7 0.5
2018Away 3.63 1.35 89.1 3 5 0 8.9 4.2 1.4
2017Home 5.32 1.68 71.0 4 7 0 7.5 5.6 1.6
2017Away 7.17 1.75 64.0 3 7 0 6.3 4.4 2.5
2016Home 3.65 1.30 49.1 5 2 0 5.8 2.2 0.7
2016Away 6.05 1.50 58.0 2 7 0 5.4 3.6 1.7
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Stat Review
How does Derek Holland compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
91.6 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The Giants inked Holland to a minor-league deal during the offseason to bring him in as part of a competition for a place in the back of their rotation, with the possibility of holding onto him as a long reliever if he didn't crack the rotation. While he no longer sits in the mid-90s with his fastball, Holland has been working on a changeup to get hitters to swing-and-miss, and to makes his fastball more effective. If he ends up making starts for the Giants at some point in 2018, Holland's appear to fantasy owners will likely be limited to spot starts in favorable home matchups.
Injuries were once again a key part of the plot with Holland's season in 2016, as he was limited to 22 games -- 20 starts -- during his final year with the Rangers. While he chipped away at his extremely high home-run rate from the previous season, Holland's flyball tendencies remained problematic as he's unable to replicate the bat-missing ability he showed at the outset of his time in Texas. The 107.1 innings that Holland amassed in 2016 represented his highest total since 2013, but he's now posted back-to-back seasons with an ERA that has flirted with the 5.00 mark. Seeking a veteran presence during their rebuilding effort, the White Sox inked Holland to a low-risk one-year deal during the offseason, and health permitting, he'll likely open the season as one of the team's rotation members. He's a big restoration projection for pitching coach Don Cooper, but there are younger arms to consider in the endgame while panning for value.
We are now two years removed from Holland's big season and he has logged just 96 innings in that time. Injuries, a fluke offseason knee injury in 2014 and a long-term shoulder issue (which cropped up nine pitches into his 2015 debut) have conspired to hold him back. He has still shown flashes of his previous upside, but it's just not enough work to feel confident about investing in him as anything more than a late-round flier. His strikeout rate has dipped in each of the last two seasons, but some of that has to be the rust of long layoffs and the fact that both samples are just really small. Even the most optimistic expectation for Holland would have to account for the fact that his 2013 breakout was an outlier compared to his previous work (4.71 ERA in 569 IP prior to 2013). Fortunately for those still bullish on him, the price has come down with the lost innings over the past two seasons.
Holland was the locomotive on the Rangers Injury Train last year, falling victim to a knee injury at home shortly after the New Year. He needed microfracture surgery to repair the knee and missed almost the entire season as a result. By the way, this is exhibit 4,180,997 of why you don’t take the initial timetable as anything but a guess that is very unlikely to come true. Early reports had Holland returning by midseason and many drafted him with that expectation. He debuted on September 2, and Holland impressed in his 37 innings, but it’s hard to draw much from the sample. His strikeout rate dipped to a career-low, but that is likely tied to the small sample size as his stuff looked as crisp as ever even though his velocity was down a tick. Look for Holland to pick up where his big 2013 left off and continue establishing himself as one of the better youngish lefties in the game. Invest.
Holland finally made good on his 2011 second-half breakout, posting the best season of his young career despite finishing with just 10 wins on the year. His control peripherals continue to trend upward, and he was able to cut back on the homers allowed from 2012, so there's room for further growth. Holland parlayed a career-high 9.9 percent swinging-strike rate into an 8.0 K/9, with a big part of those gains coming from a more effective slider. Unfortunately, an accident at his home in January resulted in knee surgery, and Holland is expected to miss the first half of the season.
Holland failed to build on 2011's second-half breakout (9-1, 1.21 WHIP, 3.06 ERA, 80 strikeouts in 88.1 innings), though the regression was spear-headed by an ugly 32 homers allowed in 175.1 innings. His control improved, and his K/9 remains very strong so there are some encouraging signs hidden amongst the rubble if you can get past the long ball issues. He'll be well discounted in your auctions this spring, and makes for a nice "post-hype sleeper" candidate as a result.
Holland was one of the league's elite starters after the All-Star break, posting a 9-1 record with a 1.211 WHIP, 3.06 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 88.1 innings. His pre-break numbers were a continuation of his career up to that point, mixing in solid starts with poor ones but showing flashes of potential. His strikeout potential gives reason to think he'll build upon last year's success, but don't be surprised if his impressive 8.1 shutout innings against the Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series lead to an uptick in his price on draft day.
Holland fell behind in the competition to earn a rotation spot in the spring with a knee injury early in camp, but emerged for a few starts in May before hitting the DL with minor shoulder soreness and a recurrence of his knee injury. He pitched well once healthy, including a nice run in September (27 innings, 26 hits, 27:11 K:BB and a 3.67 ERA in six appearances). Cliff Lee's departure to Philly via free agency gives Holland an opportunity to earn a spot in the rotation this spring and his time on the DL last season should keep the draft day price low.
Holland made just one appearance at Triple-A Oklahoma City before being promoted to the majors, where he remained for the rest of the season. The results were pretty ugly, not surprising given that he essentially made the jump straight from High-A with just four appearances at Double-A prior to last season. He allowed far too many hits (160 in 138.1 innings) and homers (26) to be effective for any prolonged stretch, and he could benefit from spending at least half a season at Triple-A Oklahoma City to refine his offspeed pitches and get some confidence back. Unfortunately, that's not likely in team's plans for Holland, so another season of struggles could await.
Holland reached Double-A, making four starts, in a season that quietly placed him among the better pitching prospects in baseball. His composite line (150.2 innings. 111 hits, 40 walks, 157 K) shows plenty of promise and late-season reports of a consistent mid-90's fastball should help him as he advances. He needs to do a better job of keeping the ball on the ground, but he pairs with Neftali Feliz to give Texas one of the better 1-2 punches in the minors.
More Fantasy News
Returns to San Francisco
PSan Francisco Giants
January 14, 2019
Holland signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Giants on Monday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. The deal includes a club option for 2020.
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Labors against Padres
PSan Francisco Giants
September 24, 2018
Holland (7-10) allowed three earned runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out two across five innings to take the loss Monday against the Padres.
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Allows four runs vs. San Diego
PSan Francisco Giants
September 19, 2018
Holland allowed four runs on five hits and two walks while striking out six over five innings in Tuesday's win over the Padres. He did not factor into the decision.
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Strikes out seven Braves
PSan Francisco Giants
September 12, 2018
Holland didn't factor into the decision against the Braves on Wednesday despite a strong outing that saw him give up just one earned run on five hits over six innings. He struck out seven and walked one.
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Fans eight in no-decision
PSan Francisco Giants
September 8, 2018
Holland didn't factor into the decision in Friday's 4-2 loss to the Brewers, allowing two runs on two hits and five walks over six innings while striking out eight.
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