Holds is a statistic in baseball awarded to relief pitchers who 1) enter into a game in a save situation, 2) records at least one out, and 3) leaves the game before the game is over without relinquishing the lead but not registering the save.
More about Holds Leaders
“Holds” are a statistic that was created to try to measure the value of relief pitchers before other advanced statistics were developed to measure a pitcher’s worth. A pitcher is credited with a hold if he enters the game with a lead and also departs the game with the lead. It’s a relatively low bar to have for a relief pitcher that generally won’t face more than a few batters. For example, a reliever can enter the game in the seventh inning with a three run lead and no runners on base, leave the game with a one run lead and three runners on base, and still be credited with a hold. Nevertheless it can be a useful “quick and dirty” statistic to see what relief pitchers were most likely to not implode, and the league leaders will most likely be pitchers who are asked to face no more than one or two batters (and thus not have many opportunities to implode).