Holmes was the Dodgers’ first-round pick back in 2014 out of the South Carolina high school ranks and began his career progressing nicely, turning in an All-Star season in the Midwest League in his first full season and then moving up to the California League as a 20-year old in 2016 when he was one of three pitchers dealt to the A’s for Josh Reddick and Rich Hill right after the Trade Deadline. His move to Double-A in 2017 was uneven, then he missed nearly all of 2018 with a bad shoulder. He looked more like his former self in 2019, giving the A’s hope he’s just about ready to break through.
For much of his Minor League career, Holmes has been more stuff than production. Much of that had to do with hitters being able to pick the ball up out of his hand too well and he worked on adding more deception in 2019 with some success. He still features a sinking fastball that sits in the low-90s that gets a lot of groundball outs and his curve is still a plus pitch that misses bats. Like most A’s farmhands, he’s developed a cutter, giving him a third at least above-average offering and his changeup has also improved.
Holmes was a more consistent strike-thrower in 2019 and he’ll have to continue to refine his command to remain a starter. He sometimes came out of the bullpen in a tandem system with Midland last year and his stuff was very impressive in shorter outings, something the A’s surely will discuss when talking about how the right-hander can impact the big league staff.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Cutter: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
Taken by the Dodgers with the 22nd overall pick in 2014 Draft, Holmes got an above slot bonus of $2.5 million to sign rather than head from his South Carolina high school to the University of Florida. He was in his second full season of pro ball when he was sent to the A's in the trade that brought Rich Hill and Josh Reddick at the 2016 Trade Deadline. His first full year with his new organization was up-and-down and his second, 2018, never got off the ground as he missed nearly all of it with a right rotator cuff injury.
The A's are keeping their collective fingers crossed that he's put the shoulder ailment behind him and all signs are pointing in the right direction. He's worked very hard to be ready to go and get his stuff back to where it was. He throws his heavy 93-94 mph fastball with excellent movement, leading to high GO/AO rates every year. He misses bats with his plus breaking ball, a hard power curve with depth, and he can mix in an average changeup. Holmes would sometimes throw a four-seamer with cutting action, so he just went with it and has developed an above-average cutter, that has late cut and comes in hard at 90-91 mph. He's never been a big command guy and he will have to throw more strikes to stay in a rotation.
More than anything, Holmes needs to show he can answer the bell every fifth day and see how he responds. Then the A's will really be able to get a read on if he can start long-term or if he's best suited for relief work.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
Holmes was viewed as a big part of the Dodgers' future after they drafted the prep hurler with the 22nd overall pick in 2014 and then signed him for $2.5 million. He impressed in his first full season, registering 10.2 strikeouts-per-nine with Class A Great Lakes, and he was holding his own in the Class A Advanced California League when the Dodgers shipped him to the A's along with fellow righties Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas at the 2016 Trade Deadline as part of a package used to acquired Josh Reddick and Rich Hill. Holmes scuffled with the move up to Double-A in 2017, his first full season with the Athletics, though he did show improvement during the second half. That progress came to a halt in 2018, though, as Holmes opened the season on the disabled list with a right rotator cuff injury.
The owner of a 93-95 mph fastball that has exceptional, late sinking action, Holmes has generated strong ground-ball rates at each stop in his career. He can miss bats both with that and his breaking ball, a plus pitch that combines curveball depth with slider velocity. His changeup continues to be a work-in-progress, one that he'll need to thoroughly develop to neutralize left-handed hitters at higher levels. Holmes has kept his walk rate in check over a full season in Double-A, although both his control and command leave much to be desired.
Holmes answered questions about his durability in 2017 en route to logging a career-high 148 1/3 innings, but the right-hander has been dealing with a concerning right shoulder injury that caused him to begin 2018 on the disabled list. There are many evaluators who still worry about his ability to pitch deep into games, and some scouts have already pegged him as a future reliever. The A's, however, plan to keep Holmes in the rotation for as long as possible, with the hope that he can refine his delivery, develop a more consistent change and improve his command.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 50
Holmes was viewed as a big part of the Dodgers' future after they drafted the prep hurler with the 22nd overall pick in 2014 and then signed him for $2.5 million. He averaged 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings in his first two pro seasons and was having another solid year in the Class A Advanced California League when the Dodgers shipped him to the A's along with fellow righties Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas at the 2016 Trade Deadline as part of a package used to acquired Josh Reddick and Rich Hill.
Holmes' fastball is a bowling ball, registering at 93-95 mph with exceptional sink that's resulted in strong ground-ball rates early in his career. He can miss bats both with that and his breaking ball, a plus pitch that combines curveball depth with slider velocity, although his changeup continues to be a work in progress. Holmes' control has regressed as he's climbed the ladder, but he's also been a consistently young hurler in every league.
Holmes has the raw stuff to become a mid-rotation option, but he'll need time to refine his delivery, develop a more consistent change and improve his command. And even though he wore down at the end of 2016, Holmes has a strong frame that can handle the rigors of a starter's workload.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 55
The Dodgers viewed Holmes as a big part of its future when they drafted the prep hurler with the 22nd overall pick in 2014 and then signed him for $2.5 million. He averaged 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings in his first two pro seasons and was having another solid year in the Class A Advanced California League when the Dodgers shipped him to the A's at the 2016 Trade Deadline as part of a package used to acquired Josh Reddick and Rich Hill.
Holmes can miss bats with both his fastball and breaking ball. After hitting 100 mph as a high school senior, he worked mostly at 93-95 mph with his lively heater during his first full year as a pro. His breaker combines curveball depth with slider velocity when at its best, though it can lack consistency at times.
Holmes has had to use his changeup more against pro hitters and shows good feel for what should give him at least an average third pitch. His control regressed in 2015 as he didn't seem to trust his stuff as much as he should, but it's good enough to make him a mid-rotation option. He lacks size but has a strong frame that should hold up under a starter's workload.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 65 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55
The Dodgers aren't afraid to take high school pitchers in the first round, having done so with seven of their last 14 selections. Their latest is Holmes, who lasted 22 picks last June because the industry tends to downgrade prep right-handers on Draft day. Outside of Tyler Kolek, who went No. 2 to the Marlins, Holmes had as good an arm as anyone in the 2014 high school class and he signed for $2.5 million.
Holmes began his high school senior season by hitting 100 mph during a preseason scrimmage and continued to bring the heat for the rest of his spring and into his pro debut. He usually works at 93-95 mph with impressive life and command. His hard breaking ball can make hitters look bad as well, combining curveball depth with slider velocity in the low 80s.
Holmes also exhibits some feel for a changeup, which should become at least an average third pitch. There isn't much projection in his relatively short and stocky frame, but that doesn't matter because his present stuff is plenty good enough to make him a starter. He also does a nice job of throwing strikes for a youngster.
Holmes has much more power in his arsenal than his older brother Colby Holmes, a right-hander in the Braves' system. Grant displayed it on a consistent basis as a high school senior, which is why the Dodgers drafted him 22nd overall in June and paid him a $2.5 million bonus.</p>
Holmes opened the spring by hitting 100 mph during a preseason scrimmage, and he repeatedly ran his fastball up to 97 during games, while also displaying good life and command. Holmes' hard breaking ball has become more of a true curveball, and it was one of the best in the 2014 Draft class. Holmes shows some feel for a changeup that he'll need to employ more against more advanced hitters in pro ball.</p>
Though Holmes doesn't have much projection left in his strong frame, that's not an issue, because he already has the makings of two well-above-average pitches. Scouts noted that Holmes did a nice job of improving his conditioning as a high school senior.</p>