The Kansas City Royals finally gave Greg Holland the closer job after trading away Jonathan Broxton last season and he proved he could handle it. With the role his at the start of the 2013 season, the young reliever could become a top 10 fantasy baseball closer this season.
After the trade deadline deal last July, Holland took over for Broxton and was 16-for-18 in save chances with a 1.98 ERA. He is an impressive strikeout pitcher who recorded 91 K’s last season with a strikeouts-per-nine innings ratio of 11.52 as a closer.
The one major problem throughout his career has been his control. His WHIP was consistently above 1.25 throughout his minor league career and his career WHIP in the majors stands at 1.23. Last season, he gave up 4.57 walks-per-nine innings in 67 appearances with a 1.37 WHIP and 11.8 percent walk rate. Those numbers are going to get him into trouble as a closer, but his high strikeout rate is going to get him out of those jams.
The Royals aren’t a great team, but they do create a lot of save opportunities. They were sixth in the league last year with 64 save chances and with an offense that doesn’t score a ton of runs, many of their wins come in close games.
Holland will have every chance to reach 40 saves with around 80-90 strikeouts. He may hurt your WHIP, but as long he can continue to get out of jams and leave around 78-80-percent of runners on base as he has throughout his young career, he’ll be a great value at the closer spot as a late-round pick.