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School: Mississippi State; Class: Junior
Position: LHP; B/T: L/L
Height: 6-2; Weight: 245 pounds
Previously Drafted: N/A
Background: Since he’s stepped on campus, MSU has, according to the club’s website, gone an impressive 80-0 when leading after the eighth inning. Holder’s one of just 13 pitchers to collect 21 saves in a single season; and, of course, there’s the piece de resistance: he entered the season 23 saves short of Blair Erickson’s NCAA career leading total.
All of which is nice, but it leads to one of my biggest – if not biggest – pet peeves: why in the hell are 19-year-old kids being pigeonholed into role-specific duties?
For his part, though, Holder’s production has maintained status quo – racking up some impressive strikeout totals, showing above-average control/command, and, of course, saving games.
Projection: Personally, I’d love to see an organization think outside the box and stretch Holder out in the rotation (slowly, of course). But given his extensive track record of – wait for it! – saving games it’s not likely. After all, who in their right mind would want a Tony Cingrani when you can have a fulltime reliever?!?
Cynicism aside, the stocky right-hander is one of the top relievers in college, one that could move very quickly through a team’s farm system. He’s not quite an elite “relief prospect,” but should settle into a late inning (seventh/eighth) role down the line.
Ceiling: 1.5-win player
Floor: 0.5-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Above-Average
Draft Projection: Third/Fourth Round
Photo Courtesy of AP Photo/Eric Francis insidemsusports.com.