No. 28 prospect Holman has yet to allow a run in '24

June 15th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Martín Gallegos’ A’s Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Flawless. That’s the only way to describe ’s 2024 campaign to this point.

Rated the A’s No. 28 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Holman started the year at Double-A Midland, where he dominated Texas League hitters with 17 consecutive scoreless appearances and six saves to begin his season. Promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on June 4, the 24-year-old right-hander’s runs allowed column has remained spotless through four outings.

Between the two levels, Holman has combined for no earned runs with 29 strikeouts and 10 walks in 24 1/3 innings. He is the only Minor League pitcher with at least 16 innings pitched yet to allow a run this season.

“Grant has taken a surge forward this season,” said A’s assistant general manager and director of player personnel Billy Owens. “It’s been fun to watch him progress. He definitely has a bright future ahead.”

Holman was a two-way player at the University of California-Berkeley his first two college seasons before focusing on pitching as a junior. His performance over that 2021 season -- he posted a 3.83 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 47 innings -- led the A’s to select him later that July in the MLB Draft and go over slot value to sign him for $375,000 as a sixth-round pick.

Flashing an electric arsenal of pitches that includes a fastball that hovers around 95-96 mph with good life along with a sharp slider and swing-and-miss split-change, Holman was first utilized as a starter to begin his pro career. After injuries began to pile up in his first couple of seasons, the A’s opted to transition Holman into a bullpen role last year.

Remaining healthy since the move, Holman -- a towering presence listed at 6-foot-6 -- is quickly putting himself on the big league radar with his performance as a reliever.

“We were excited to draft him and envisioned major upside,” Owens said. “He’s an athletic specimen.”

The A’s 2021 Draft class was already shaping up to be one of their best in quite some time. It netted them current big leaguers in flamethrowing closer Mason Miller and Zack Gelof, as well as top prospects Denzel Clarke (No. 3), Max Muncy (No. 7) and Brett Harris (No. 9).

Pretty soon, Holman could join Miller in Oakland’s bullpen as another high-leverage option.

Here’s a roundup of some other notable performances throughout the A’s system:

Triple-A Las Vegas
After he was designated for assignment on May 23 and went unclaimed, former top prospect Jordan Diaz has been on a tear ever since. Dating back to May 30, the 23-year-old infielder is batting .388 (19-for-49) with three home runs, two doubles and 13 RBIs in 14 games.

Double-A Midland
Second baseman Cooper Bowman (A’s No. 17 prospect) -- acquired from the Yankees as part of the return for Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino in 2022 -- is slashing .271/.367/.439 with eight homers, 11 doubles and a triple in 58 games. He leads the Texas League with 25 stolen bases, while his RBIs (40) and runs scored (43) are second-most.

High-A Lansing
The trio of Jake Garland, Grant Judkins and Colton Johnson combined to throw a no-hitter against Cedar Rapids on Thursday. It was the fourth no-hitter in Lugnuts history and second in the past three seasons.

Single-A Stockton
Chen Zhong-Ao Zhuang earned a promotion to High-A on May 29 following a strong start at Stockton in which he posted a 1.67 ERA in nine games (five starts) with 37 strikeouts and four walks in 32 1/3 innings.