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Greg Holland

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Gregory Scott Holland

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[edit] Biographical information

Greg Holland came to the big leagues in 2010.

He was 5-4 with a 3.41 ERA as a high school senior, striking out 69 in 51 1/3 IP. He attended Western Carolina University from 2005 to 2007. He went 2-3 with a 6.75 ERA in 2005, 4-4 with nine saves and a 2.51 ERA in 2006 and 4-5 with 10 saves, a 3.77 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings in 2007.

He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 10th round of the 2007 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Steve Connelly.

He began his professional career in 2007, making 22 relief appearances for the Idaho Falls Chukars and going 6-1 with six saves and a 3.48 ERA, striking out 37 batters in 33 2/3 innings. In 2008, he pitched for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, going 4-5 with four saves and a 3.42 ERA in 32 games (seven starts), fanning 96 batters in 84 1/3 innings. He split 2009 between the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and Omaha Royals, going a combined 4-3 with ten saves and a 3.81 ERA in 35 relief appearances.

He began 2010 with the Omaha Royals, going 3-3 with three saves, a .199 opponent average and a 3.81 ERA in 36 relief appearances prior to his July promotion to the major leagues, replacing the traded Scott Podsednik on the MLB roster. He had a rough debut in The Show, needing 31 pitches to get through an inning. He relieved Bryan Bullington in the 8th with a 5-0 deficit against the A's. Rajai Davis grounded out on a full count, then Gabe Gross drew a full-count walk. The third straight full count went to Cliff Pennington, who singled, as did Coco Crisp to make it 6-0. Daric Barton walked on yet another full count. Kurt Suzuki then ground into a double play to end the inning. He went 0-1, 6.75 in 15 outings that firs season. Holland took a big step forward in 2011, posting a 1.80 ERA in 46 games, covering 60 innings. He was 5-1 with 4 saves and struck out 74 batters. He was part of an excellent group of young relievers for the Royals that year that also included Aaron Crow, Tim Collins and Louis Coleman.

Holland became the Royals' closer late in the 2012 season, after veteran Jonathan Broxton was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds. He registered 16 saves to go along with a 7-4 record and a 2.96 ERA in 67 games that season; he also struck out 91 batters in only 67 innings. In 2013 he took another step forward, being named to the All-Star team for the first time. In July, he recorded 11 saves in as many opportunities with an 0.82 ERA to be named the major leagues, Delivery Man of the Month. He repeated as winner of the award in September, when he recorded 11 more saves to end the year with 47. That was not his only impressive number that season, as his 1.21 ERA in 67 innings, coupled with 103 strikeouts were also outstanding.

He had another great season in 2014, returning to the All-Star Game while going 1-3, 1.44 with 46 saves. He was named the initial winner of the Mariano Rivera Award, handed out to the best reliever in the American League. During the 2014 ALCS, Holland saved all four of Kansas City's wins in a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. He was the third pitcher to record four saves in a seven-game postseasons series, following Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 ALCS and John Wetteland in the 1996 World Series.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 2-time AL All-Star (2013 & 2014)
  • Mariano Rivera Award Winner (2014)
  • 30 Saves Seasons: 2 (2013 & 2014)
  • 40 Saves Seasons: 2 (2013 & 2014)

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