Dodgers select high school RHP Grant Holmes in first round of 2014 MLB Draft

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Dodgers selected a starting pitcher in the first round of the 2014 First Year Player Draft when their number 22 pick came up on Thursday evening. But what is a surprise is that 18-year-old Conway High School (South Carolina) fireballer Grant Holmes was still available when it was the Dodgers’ turn to pick.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig with Dodgers first round draft pick Grant Holmes. (Video capture courtesy of MLB.com)

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig with Dodgers first round draft pick Grant Holmes.
(Video capture courtesy of MLB.com)

“We feel fortunate to have gotten a player of Grant’s magnitude at pick 22,” said Logan White, the Dodgers Vice President of Amateur Scouting. “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 curveball has been ranked as the best high school curveball in this year’s draft class and a fastball that has reached triple digits, was one of only a handful of college and high school players invited to attend the 2014 First Year Player Draft in person at MLB Network’s famed ‘Studio 42′ in Secaucus, New Jersey. Also on hand and representing the Dodgers were Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda and legendary knuckleballer Charlie Hough.

Moments after MLB commissioner Bud Selig made the announcement of the Dodgers selection of Holmes, Lasorda was observed talking with the obviously excited young man.

“He said I was blessed to be a Dodger,” Holmes later told MLB Network’s Sam Ryan. When Ryan asked what it was like to be drafted the Dodgers with one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball, Holmes answered “It’s a true blessing. I’m very honored to be a Dodger and I’m ready to pitch.”

Who better to represent the Dodgers at the 2014 MLB First Year Player Draft than Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda. (Video capture courtesy of MLB.com)

Who better to welcome Grant Holmes to the Dodgers than Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda?
(Video capture courtesy of MLB.com)

Baseball America, who projected that Holmes would draft out 16th overall, had this to say about the 6′ 1″ 215 lb right-hander in their pre-draft scouting report:

“His power curveball is one of the top breaking balls in the country, a plus pitch that flashes better. On the showcase circuit, Holmes was primarily a two-pitch pitcher with a seldom-used change-up. But the offering has become a legitimate above-average weapon that could become plus.”

Holmes signed a Letter of Intent to attend the University of Florida but will most likely accept the $1,980,500 maximum allotted signing bonus to sign with the Dodgers. Once signed, Holmes figures to begin his professional career with either the Arizona Dodgers of the Arizona Rookie League or perhaps even the Ogden Raptors of the short season Pioneer League, which begins play on June 17.

 

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One Response to “Dodgers select high school RHP Grant Holmes in first round of 2014 MLB Draft”

  1. Bluenose Dodger says:

    An interesting selection indeed. Mock drafts had him going to the Giants, Rockies or Pirates most likely because they figured he wouldn’t be around in the 22nd round.

    Jonathan Mayo picks Holmes as the third best high school pitcher in this year’s draft with Aiken and Kolek being the top picks. He picks him over Toussaint who he feels has the most electric fastball-curveball combo in the draft, and Reid-Foley who commands four solid-or-better offerings. For Mayo: “It’s Holmes who has the best combination of stuff and polish.”

    He has been described as short at 6’1″ and that was a detractor for some teams. Being 5’8″ tall 6’1″ seems pretty good to me. One source compared his build to Chad Billingsley and former Dodger Eric Gagne.

    Holmes, who has an Andy Messersmith or Don Sutton perm look was the Gatorade player of the year in South Carolina after striking out 82 in 40 innings. His ERA was 0.35.

    I think the Dodgers undoubtedly like his character. He has maintained a 3.36 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. He has volunteered locally as a youth baseball coach.

    He gets high praise from Coach Tom Christy:“In my 25 years of coaching, have only seen one other high school pitcher be as dominant as Grant Holmes and that was Justin Verlander,” said Tim Christy, head coach at Myrtle Beach. “Holmes carries himself with class and has a demeanor that is not polluted with arrogance and self-promotion. If there is a better player in our state, I don’t know who it would be.”

    One scout reported: “The thing that I liked the most was that when he struggles he can adjust and fight back,” the scout said. “He is fun to watch and about as good as they come. If he was about 6-foot-2 or taller we would be talking about him in a much higher spot.” There’s that short thing again yet some MLB scouts rate his curveball as the best of any high school pitcher in this year’s draft and his fastball has also hit 100 miles an hour on the radar gun.

    Another scout: ” “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.”

    Grant’s brother, Colby, pitched in three College World Series for the South Carolina Gameocks in college, and is now with the Rome Braves, the low single-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.

    I expect that Dodger Crosschecker Roy Clark was instrumental in the decision to pick Grant Holmes with their first round selection.

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