As part of his 2012 preview of the top prospects in baseball, Keith Law has released his sleeper prospects for all 30 teams. Yesterday he released his top 100 prospects list. Five Pirates prospects were on the list, and Luis Heredia ended up on the list of ten players who just missed. Today’s sleeper rankings are a look at guys who could end up in the top 100 with a breakout season.
Law specifies that the list features one player from every organization who could take a big step forward in 2012, potentially ending up in next year’s top 100, preferably in the middle-to-top of the ranking. His choice for the Pirates was right hander Clayton Holmes.
The Pirates drafted Holmes in the ninth round this past year and gave him a $1.2 M signing bonus, which was the biggest bonus ever in ninth round history. Holmes throws 90-93 MPH, and has a slider which can be a plus pitch at times. His slider has been erratic at times, and he needs to work on smoothing out his delivery. Law points out his lively fastball, and that he can repeat his arm action. Holmes also has the size to be a front-line starter, another thing that Law points out.
Normally the Pirates send their prep pitchers to State College for their first pro season, following time in extended Spring Training. I would expect Holmes to take the same path, working on his fastball command and working on consistency with his slider. Because of his size and two good pitches at a young age, he’s a good choice for a sleeper candidate.