No. 7) Wade Davis 2015
Speaking of former Kansas City Royals closers who are now in the NL, Wade Davis lands one spot ahead of Holland on our list. The man who helped the Cubs reach the NLCS for a third straight year became a revelation in the Kansas City bullpen after failing as a starting pitcher. Davis, who came over in a blockbuster deal with Tampa Bay, had three fantastic seasons to close out his Royals career.
It’s the middle of those three seasons that lands on this list, though. His 2014 season was sensational, The trio of Herrera, Davis and Holland befuddled teams throughout the regular season and, especially, the postseason. However, he really came into his own in 2015 when asked to take over the closer role from an injured Holland.
Davis put up a ridiculous 8-1 record with a minuscule 0.94 ERA and 0.79 WHIP during the regular season. He recorded 27 saves against just three blown saves in 40 appearances. The sensational campaign earned him his first of three consecutive All-Star nods. As great as he was during the regular season, Davis kicked it up a notch to help the Kansas City Royals win their first World Series in three decades.
After giving up just a single run in 12 innings during the 2014 postseason, he made eight scoreless appearances in 2015. Davis struck out 18 against just three walks over 10 2/3 innings. The single most incredible thing about his 2015 campaign? Davis didn’t allow a single home run to the 290 combined batters he faced in the regular season or the postseason.
Two of his performances in the 2015 postseason were so important they landed on our countdown of the top moments of the team’s World Series title-winning run. If Davis hadn’t been traded prior to the 2017 season for Jorge Soler, he might have usurped even this tremendous season—but probably not.