Moving forward with our coverage of the 2017 MLB Draft, we turn our attention back to the high school hitter ranks with a quick take on Quentin Holmes, speedy outfielder.
Holmes attends high school at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High in East Elmhurst, New York. Like most cold-weather high school players he has less experience with day-to-day baseball than his peers from baseball-friendlier states, but Holmes has been very active on the summer showcase circuit dating back to 2013 and scouts are quite familiar with him. College coaches wanted him too and he is committed to Mississippi State University, although he’s considered signable if he is drafted where his talent warrants.
Listed at 6-1, 180, Holmes is a right-handed hitter and thrower born July 7th, 1999.
Blazing speed is the big attraction here: Holmes is an 80-grade runner and is the fastest high school player in the draft. He knows how to use that speed well on the bases and will be an ideal leadoff hitter if his on-base abilities pan out. The speed helps in the outfield and with a bit more polish with his route-running he should be an excellent center fielder.
Although his power is below average at present there’s wiry strength in his body and he may show decent sock eventually. His makeup is considered first-class; he’s a good student with a strong work ethic and is considered a leader on and off the field.
Holmes’ bat is behind his baserunning and fielding. Optimists see Holmes flashing good pure hitting skills and solid contact ability, while pessimists worry about inconsistent hitting mechanics and an aggressive approach that would be problematic for a leadoff type.
His arm isn’t particularly strong but scouts will put up with that given his speed.
All agree that Holmes is very young, 17 on draft day, has fewer reps than other players, and has plenty of time to work out the kinks in his hitting. The bat isn’t so much a weakness per-se, but it requires more projection and development than the rest of his game.
80-grade speed is rare; combine it with superior makeup and a chance to hit and you have a player of obvious interest. Draft observers see Holmes as a potential late first round, supplemental round, or early second round talent.
Some Fangraphs video
Baseball America video