Dodgers put high hopes in Holmes as first-round pick

mlb-Grant-Holmes-Tommy-Lasorda-FPFor the 11th time in the past 12 years, the Los Angeles Dodgers took a pitcher with their first pick in baseball’s annual draft. The team thinks this year’s No. 1 pick was a steal.

The Dodgers selected Grant Holmes, a right-hander from Conway High, in Thursday night’s first round. Holmes throws in the mid-90s and possesses what was considered the best curveball among high school pitchers in this year’s draft.

“When you’re looking at pitchers, we see a lot of velocity,” Dodgers vice president of amateur scouting Logan White said. “The separator is when you see a guy with a plus-breaking ball and I think his is outstanding.”

Holmes was projected to possibly go in the top 15 picks this year because he performed well in some showcase events. At 6-foot, 215 pounds, Holmes was compared to current Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley and Giants right-hander Matt Cain by White.

“We did not expect to get a pitcher of this caliber where we got him,” White said of getting Holmes at No. 22. “He’s more than a high school pitcher. He’s an advanced high school pitcher.”

Holmes met White and longtime Dodgers manager/front office man Tommy Lasorda on Thursday at the draft in New Jersey before flying home for graduation ceremonies on Friday. The University of Florida commitment must decide whether to sign with the Dodgers or join the Gators.

Photo courtesy of LA Dodgers

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