Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Next Big Thing - Clay Holmes

Every season in the minors has surprises and disappointments.  This season is no different -- Alen Hanson and Gregory Polanco are among the huge surprises, but one of the less-heralded surprises has been Clay Holmes at State College.

Holmes was a 9th round draft pick in 2011 and received a $1.2M signing bonus.  Holmes was assigned to State College for 2012, as is the case for most Pirates high school pitching draft picks in their first true professional season.  The 6'-5", 230 lb Holmes has put himself on the map after his first 9 professional starts in short-season.  Through 43 innings, Holmes has allowed only 19 hits and struck out 30 while walking 20 (a touch too high).  His ERA is a microscopic 0.83.  Holmes has allowed an earned run in only 2 of his 9 starts, with one outing having 1 run and the other outing allowing 4 runs.  Those 5 ER are the totality of the runs Holmes has allowed in 2012.

Holmes throws a fastball that ranges from 90-94 mph with the makings of a decent curve and changeup.  For 2013, Holmes will most assuredly move up to full season West Virginia and probably be on a 110-120 inning limit.  With Rudy Owens, Colton Cain, and Robbie Grossman traded to Houston and Starling Marte on the verge of losing prospect eligibility, there is a lot of room for advancement up the prospect lists for Holmes this offseason.

The one caveat to this Holmes love fest is the memory of Nick Kingham from 2011 to 2012.  In 2011, Kingham also dominated the New York Penn League to the tune of a 2.15 ERA over 71 IP.  This year has been a struggle for Kingham, although he has been much better lately, but overall Kingham has a 4.74 ERA in 106 IP (although he does have 98 K's, which is a good ratio especially since he's only allowed only 32 BB).

Holmes will be comfortably in my Top 10 when I start putting that up on the site in November.  All eyes will be on West Virginia next year when Holmes and Heredia make their presence known.

No comments:

Post a Comment