Baseball America has released their final mock draft and they are predicting a major fall for a prep arm that hasn’t been linked to the Pittsburgh Pirates before today. BA thinks right-handed pitcher Grant Holmes could drop all the way to the Pirates with their 24th pick. Holmes was mentioned by us numerous times, but mostly in passing because he hasn’t been in the Pirates range since very early in the season. We posted a video of him here after he hit 98 MPH during one of his school’s pre-season scrimmages.
As I mentioned in our preview of prep pitchers, Holmes offers a huge arm, but little upside due to his frame and that could drop him in the rankings. That drop apparently didn’t happen until today because he has constantly been in the 10-16 range in mock drafts throughout the year, occasionally higher. Holmes offers a plus fastball and curve, with a change-up that has improved this season. He has some minor control issues due to his delivery and he tends to leave pitches up in the zone. You can see if the video that he has some control issues, but also hits 94-95 regularly with movement. He has a strong build to handle a lot of innings, but doesn’t fit the prototypical Pirates draft pick, standing just 6’0″ tall. Still, he is a huge arm that would be extremely hard to pass up if he somehow got to the Pirates.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.