With the Dodgers playing a crappy version of Baseball, tonight's 2014 MLB Amateur Baseball draft couldn't come at a better time. After all, I would much rather spend my free time dreaming about the future, than fretting over how bad we are today.
Fortunately, there are several names already in the Dodger farm system that keeps me excited and engaged. We've got slugger Joc Pederson causing some damage in Albuquerque, Corey Seager is tearing it up in Single-A, and Julio Urias makes me hopeful than another ace will arrive soon.
I wonder who, if any of the future Dodgers drafted over the next few days will find themselves on the above list. All I know is that it'll be fun to watch and learn about their development over the next coming months and years.
With all of that being said, the 1st Round Draft pick for the Dodgers, 22nd overall, of 2014 is South Carolina right-handed pitcher Grant Holmes from Conway High School. In celebration of Holmes' being chosen by the Dodgers in the 1st round of the draft, I made the below fantasy card for him. I used a photo grabbed from Grand Strand Sports (photo by Chuck Silvey) in his high school uniform and the 1987 Topps Baseball card design.
Grant is 6' 2" and about 200 lbs. Reports indicate that he throws a mid-90's fastball and has a good breaking ball. He has already verbally committed to play college ball at the University of Florida, but we'll see if he can be convinced into turning pro right away. BTW, he is on twitter, and you can find him here - @GHolmes_14. Jim Callis at MLB.com recently wrote that he was the 3rd best prep arm in the country:
Holmes established himself as a likely first-rounder with a series of strong performances on the showcase circuit last summer, and he has been better than ever this spring. He made scouts sit up and notice when he fired a 100-mph fastball during a preseason scrimmage, and he continued to deliver outstanding velocity throughout his senior season. Holmes repeatedly worked at 91-97 mph, also impressing with his improved ability to locate his fastball on both sides of the plate.Matt Garrioch at Minor League Ball wrote about Holmes earlier this year:
Holmes can devastate hitters with his curveball as well. At its best, it grades as well above average, a low-80s power breaker with good depth. He didn't need it much against high school competition, but the Florida recruit also has made significant strides with his changeup, which can run to either side and shows flashes of becoming a plus pitch.
"The only knock on Holmes is his height, but he's strong, so he does it easy," an area scout said. "We've seen 97-98 mph in the seventh inning. I've seen three plus pitches and the ability to maintain his velocity. I like him a lot. He really competes and he has feel for pitching."
Below are some tweets of him at the draft wearing Dodger Blue.Holmes has an excellent power curveball as well. It's arguably his best pitch and it is a big league average pitch now with the potential to be a plus-plus pitch. It has tight spin and good depth at 82-85 MPH. The velocity will make many say it's a slider but there is very little horizontal movement to it. It's just a hard downer curveball and he delivers it with exceptional skill.He even offers a solid change that could be above average. Holmes has a lot of polish and has everything he needs to make it a plus pitch as well. It sits in the mid 80's as well and it comes out of the same angle and similar arm speed as his fastball, allowing it to be projected as above average or even better.
Grant Holmes puts on a @Dodgers uniform for the first time. pic.twitter.com/6U7jxsuCc9
— MLB (@MLB) June 6, 2014
Welcome to the family, Grant Holmes: pic.twitter.com/c42yDZmpOU
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 6, 2014
And, here are some videos of him on the mound. Here, he pitches the top of the first inning for the East squad at the 2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic.
Here is a feature on Holmes from WPDE NewsChannel 15.
UPDATE: BTW, here is the Dodgers official press release on Grant Holmes:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today selected Conway High School (SC) right-handed pitcher Grant Holmes with their first pick (22nd overall) in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder struck out 82 batters in only 40.0 innings this season, while posting a 4-1 record with a 0.35 ERA on his way to Gatorade's South Carolina Player of the Year honors at Conway High School (SC). At the plate this season, the 18-year-old batted .305 with a .494 on-base percentage.
"We feel fortunate to have gotten a player of Grant's magnitude at pick 22," said Dodger Vice President, Amateur Scouting Logan White. "He's a mature, young and strong-bodied pitcher who throws hard and has a great breaking ball, but what separates him is he is a fierce competitor."
Holmes, whose brother, Colby, signed as a non-drafted free agent with Atlanta last June, was rated as the 16th-best prospect by Baseball America.
The Dodgers have selected a pitcher with their top pick in the draft 11 of the last 12 years, and their next selection in the second round is the 62nd overall.
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