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Diamondbacks Top Prospect #26: OF Tra Holmes

(Craig Mitchelldyer/Hillsboro Hops)

Name: Tra’mayne Holmes

DOB: 7/10/1996 (Age 22)

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 175

B/T: R/R

Acquired: 11th Round Pick, 2017 MLB Draft

Position: Center Field

Most Notable Tool: Speed

Season Stats: 277 PA, .227/.331/.349, 13 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 39 R, 24/70 BB/K, 28/37 SB

2018 Season Summary: After struggling against pro pitching in 2017, Holmes repeated Hillsboro and put up a solid .284/.373/.463 slash with 14 XBH in 153 PA. That earned him a late season promotion to Kane County where his offensive output completely cratered. The strikeout to walk ratio stayed roughly the same, although the more difficult level resulted in an increase in strikeout rate and a drop in all numbers across the board.

Tools: Hit 30/45, Power 35/40, Speed 65, Defense 50/60

Holmes is one of those players who fits the cliché of “Can’t steal 1st base”. While he puts up walk rates hovering around 10%, there’s too much swing and miss for a guy whose only notable tool is his straight-line speed. Since he has the ability to dramatically impact the game on the bases and in the outfield, the team can still gamble on him making improvements to his approach at the plate to see if he can hit enough to make use of his speed.

Upside: If Holmes doesn’t swing and miss his way out of professional baseball, he has a 4th outfielder profile a la current Dbacks outfielder Jarrod Dyson. As a right-handed hitter he would likely see starts against LHP more at the MLB level as well as be a late inning pinch runner and defensive upgrade with the team up late in the game.

Risk: There’s a good chance that Holmes swings and misses his way out of pro ball before getting to AA. Despite the great speed, players that don’t put the bat on the ball enough or have the pop to do damage when they do don’t typically fare well. His defense would have to be borderline transcendent like Dyson’s, although the latter has a career 85 OPS+ while I don’t expect Holmes to put up that total for a single season at the MLB level.

Likely 2019 Assignment: Holmes is probably projected to end up repeating Kane County to start 2019 although if he struggles there again, it may be time to let him go even though it hasn’t been 2 years since he was drafted. On the other hand, if he is able to improve his bat to ball skills in his second go around at Kane County like he did last season in Hillsboro, then he should be good to go for a promotion to Visalia around the trade deadline.

ETA: 2022 Season