LHP Carter Holton
It’s been a bit since Vanderbilt has had a stud LHP. Part of that was Jones injuring his arm, and part of that was the relative wildness of Jake Eder (and the depth of the rotation in his years), but Holton has a chance to join the ranks of Vandy southpaw starting pitchers—perhaps even as a freshman. Here’s the scouting report from MLB.com:
Benedictine Military School (Savannah, Ga.) has produced a pair of big leaguers in Hawk Harrelson and Mike Fitzgerald, but the Cadets have never had a pitching prospect of Holton’s caliber. He has repeatedly dominated on the showcase circuit and can flash four plus pitches, though he comes with relief risk because of his size. He’s the best pitcher in Vanderbilt’s recruiting class, but may be more signable than a typical Commodores recruit and could land in the top three rounds.
Holton ran his four-seam fastball up to 96 mph last summer at the Perfect Game All-American Classic and usually favors a two-seamer that sits in the low 90s with sink. He has two distinct breaking balls, with scouts slightly preferring his upper-70s slider to his mid-70s curveball, and both pitches have been more consistent this spring. He also has a low-80s changeup with some sink and keeps hitters off balance by mixing his pitches.
Holton is doing a better job of staying more under control and pitching with less effort than he did last summer. He has some crossfire in his delivery that adds deception, especially against left-handers. He has a quick arm and throws all of his pitches for strikes, so the only real concern about him remaining a starter is his 5-foot-11, 195-pound frame.
Range: Rounds 5-20.
MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: #128.
Prediction: I have a good feeling that Holton is coming to Vanderbilt, but similar to Diaz and Morales, if you see his name called on Day 2, he’s agreed to their proposed signing bonus.
Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him:
50%. 1%. This is as obvious a “draft flier” as I’ve ever seen.
Here’s my evidence:
"I had to say no to a few numbers that not everybody can just say no to," Holton says https://t.co/Frti1Sd774— Aria Gerson (@aria_gerson) July 12, 2021
This is a big one. He could push for a spot in the starting rotation next year. https://t.co/1fparfbJsr— Guess who’s back, Scotty’s back (@anchorofgold) July 12, 2021
Exhale. He’s ours. I’m nearly 100% certain.