Kansas City Royals Countdown: Top 10 Individual Pitching Seasons
No. 8) Greg Holland 2014
Greg Holland had consecutive All-Star appearances in 2013 and 2014, as he held down the fort at the backend of the Kansas City Royals bullpen. His 2014 regular season was actually a notch below his 2013 one, but his work during the Royals’ run to the World Series boosts his 2014 campaign onto this list.
Let’s start by looking at Holland’s 2013 and 2014 seasons to see just how dominant he was during this two-year stretch. In both years, he finished ninth in Cy Young voting, while earning 15th and 16th place, respectively, in MVP voting.
In 2013, he had an ERA of 1.21 and a WHIP of 0.87. The next year those numbers ticked up slightly to 1.44 and 0.91, respectively. He racked up a total of 93 saves (47 in 2013 and 46 in 2014) over the two seasons. Holland gave up exactly three home runs in each year. Perhaps most impressively, the right-hander posted incredible strikeout-to-walk ratios—5.72:1 in 2013 and 4.50 in 2014.
Holland appeared in 11 games, including each of the eight through the ALCS.
As mentioned before, those numbers would suggest 2013 was Holland’s best in a Kansas City Royals uniform. However, we do take postseason accomplishments into consideration on this list. That’s enough to push his 2014 season to the forefront.
Holland appeared in 11 games, including each of the eight through the ALCS. He closed out 10 of those games with the lone exception being the Wild Card Game. Holland gave up just one run in 11 innings, while recording seven saves. He saved two of the three ALDS wins over the Angels, and he followed that up with saves in all four ALCS victories against the Orioles. Holland getting J.J. Hardy to ground out to end Game 4 sent the Royals to their first World Series in 29 years.
He signed with Colorado prior to the 2017 season and led tied for the NL lead in saves (41).