CLAY HOLMES
RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
  Born: March 27, 1993
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 230
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 9th Round, 272nd Overall, 2011
How Acquired: Draft
College/High School: Slocomb HS, AL
Agent:  Jet Sports Management

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Baseball America rated Holmes the 140th best draft prospect.  He moved up draft boards when his stuff improved in his junior year.  Scouts like his fastball, which ranges from 90-93.  His slider is very erratic.  His delivery is high-effort and erratic, and continued to draw concern from scouts into his second pro season.  Holmes’ improvement affected his college recruiting stock as well, getting him a scholarship to Auburn.  He was valedictorian of his high school class and was expected to be very tough to sign, but the Pirates reached a deal with him on deadline day for a reported $1.2M, a record for the 9th round.  It was too late for him to see action in the GCL.

2012
A-:  5-3-0, 2.28 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 59.1 IP, 4.4 BB/9, 5.2 K/9

Holmes went to State College and generally pitched very well.  Opponents hit just .176 against him, he kept the ball on the ground, and he allowed just one HR.  At one point he had three consecutive outings in which he allowed just one hit over five scoreless innings, then followed with an outing in which he allowed three hits over five scoreless innings.  He had some outings, though, in which he had control meltdowns, and he didn’t strike out many hitters.  He threw in the low 90s, usually topping out around 93.  Baseball America ranked him the league’s 15th best prospect.

2013
A:  5-6-0, 4.08 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 119.0 IP, 5.2 BB/9, 6.8 K/9

Holmes got off to a difficult start, but turned things around in the second half of the season.  To some extent, his first half mirrored concerns about his 2012 numbers, as his walk and K rates were very bad.  His season broke down like this:

  ERA IP BB K OAVG
1st Half 4.95 60.0 40 40 .253
2nd Half 3.20 59.0 29 50 .226

Walks were easily Holmes’ biggest problem.  He didn’t get hit hard; on the season as a whole, he allowed just a .240 average and .339 slugging average.  He had a ground out to air out ratio of 1.85 and allowed just seven HRs.  Scouting reports had his fastball in the low-90s with good downward tilt and his curve in the low-80s with good break.  His change, as usual with low-minors prospects, still needs work.

Holmes’ 2013 season was arguably more encouraging than not, given his good second half.  He was expected to need some work when he was drafted.  He was expected to move up to Bradenton in 2014, but unfortunately had Tommy John surgery during spring training.  He’s expected back for the 2015 season.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com
HS
W-L-Sv
G
GS
IP
H
HR
BB
K
WHIP
OAVG
ERA
2010 11-5-? 89.0 126
2011 6-2-? 54.1
33 84 2.06
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2014:  Minor league contract.
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus:  $1,200,000
MiLB Debut: 2012
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible:  2017
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible:  2015
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 7, 2011: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 9th round, 272nd overall pick; signed on August 15.