Sunday, December 11, 2011

#20 Prospect - Clay Holmes

The new CBA in baseball has brought significant changes to baseball.  More specifically, the rule 4 draft, commonly known as the amateur draft, faces uncertain times.  The exact modifications are numerous in amount and confusing in nature.  Condensing it down to one sentence, the ability to spend in the rule 4 draft will be greatly diminished and regulated.

Clay Holmes, my #20 prospect in the Pirates system, is a prime example of a past era that will die with the new CBA.  The Pirates selected Holmes, with the 272nd Overall pick in the 9th round of the 2011 MLB draft.  Holmes, who baseball-reference lists at 6'5, 230, was slated to become a pitcher for the Auburn Tigers in the 2012 college baseball season.  However, the Pittsburgh Pirates swooped in and prevented that from happening, handing Holmes a cool 1.2 million dollars to forgo his college commitment and begin professional baseball right away.

Holmes, a right-handed pitcher, throws in the low 90's. However, according to a Auburn Tigers message board, Clay was seen hitting the mid 90's consistently on the radar gun in the spring of 2011.  He also throws an erratic slider. In 2010, as a junior, Holmes 11-5 and stuck out 126 batters in 89 innings. He followed that up with a senior year in which he went 6-2, with a 2.06 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 54.1 innings.

Like most high school pitchers, he will be a project, especially since he apparently only throws 2 pitches.  However, he's #20 on my list because he already has solid heat, room for projection left, and confidence in the Pirates who shelled out seven figures to get him to join the organization.