Age (Majority 2021 season): 21
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 5’11” Weight: 175
Acquired: Draft – 14th round – 2018
Background & Info – 2020 status: Following his draft selection out of Langham Creek High School in Houston, Texas, Korey Holland debuted with the Arizona League Indians Blue in 2018, then played for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in 2019. During the 2020 season he was excluded from both the alternate site in Lake County and fall instructional ball in Goodyear, Arizona. He also chose not to participate with any independent league teams during the 2020 regular season or with any of the foreign winter leagues, so he has not played professionally since 2019. Athletic outfielders build with a solid frame that he could add some strength too, but maintaining his athletic build will be key to taking advantage of his speed, which is his best tool.
Hit: He has bat speed, but struggled to square up the baseball. Holland has a line drive approach and stands with a wide base and a slight bend in his knees, with his elbow cocked and his bat near his back ear. Quick load and gets his foot down early in his swing, which should warrant contact oriented approach. Nearly all of Holland’s contact comes in the form of ground balls to the infield although he did see a tick up in fly balls in his second season. His speed has allowed him to turn a few of those infield grounders into hits, but his .224 career average is fairly indicative of his success rate. There are improvements to be made in his swing to make more consistent, more quality contact. But the compact ability and patience is there, even if he is too passive now.
Power: Holland did manage to hit one home run so far in his career, but that’s the exception. Much more often his fly balls don’t make it half way through the outfield and he has just seven doubles and four triples in his first 79 games. For his effort, he has a .293 slugging percent in that time. His frame has the potential to grow into some power but his swing is more line drive oriented right now, so those gains don’t seem to be coming.
Approach: Despite being raw as a hitter, Holland has great place discipline and walks often, helping make up for the low average. He also has a good all field approach, changing from his rookie season when he was almost exclusively an opposite field hitter. Not quite aggressive enough at the plate, getting behind in the count and chasing.
Arm: Holland has played mostly in left field, but has the speed and instincts to play centerfield. But his arm is only suited for left field and, unless he made massive strides during his time away from pro baseball, it’s not good enough to play in either corner spot.
Fielding: He makes up for his poor arm with great range and reaction time in the outfield. His push to left has more to do with internal competition with higher end prospects like George Valera and Julian Escobedo than his own ability.
Speed: 4.10 home-to-first time. Holland is quick and a double-plus runner. His good peak speed is how he’s managed to hit 11 doubles and triples in two seasons despite his lack of power.
Instincts: Holland took advantage of poor defensive catchers in the Arizona League as a rookie, taking seven bases in eight attempts, but wasn’t able to continue that success at a higher level. He hasn’t taken advantage of his speed on the bases yet, so with some development on the bases that could get better. Given his high walk rate, this is probably the easiest fix in Holland’s make-up to make him a more valuable player overall.
Intangibles: Holland is essentially already a bench outfielder even in short season ball and, as a mid round draft pick, has extremely low expectations. Whatever he gives the Indians in 2021 should be a reflection of how he spent the last year and we could see a completely different player or he could work himself out of the system quickly.
Given that he’s already being pushed out of position by higher ceiling prospects, it’s hard to imagine the Indians have high hopes for Holland. During his first two seasons he was severely harmed by his lack of power and, if he didn’t improve on his strength in 2020, his ceiling may be high A bench outfielder. If he did, he’s a speedster who can play all three outfield positions and run the bases decently.
Future/Roles: With the year off and Holland already being 21 years old, he should skip Low-A Lynchburg and head straight to A+ Lake County in 2021 where he’ll probably be in the same role as he was in 2019. At the moment, I don’t see him advancing beyond AA as an organizational OF but there are some raw tools as a hitter and runner, and it is hard to judge a player who has essentially disappeared for over a year.
2021 Status: A+ Lake County