Player: Quentin Holmes
DOB: July 7, 1999 (17 years old)
Height/Weight: 6'1", 175 lbs
School: Monsignor McClancy Memorial HS (N.Y.)
College Commitment: Mississippi State
Quentin Holmes is the only player in the 2017 draft who possesses a true 80-grade tool.
His straight-line speed isn't near the top of the scale—it is the top of the scale.
Those wheels were on full display this spring as he swiped 21 bases in 24 games while also hitting .463 with seven home runs and 24 RBI.
That earned him Gatorade Player of the Year honors for the state of New York while playing for Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School.
"Quentin Holmes has the ability to change the game in so many ways," Archbishop Molloy High School coach Brad Lyons told Gatorade. "His bat is great, and defensively, he's one of the best I have ever seen."
Holmes is also a veteran of the 18-and-under U.S. national team, and he's held his own against high-level competition on the showcase circuit, giving scouts plenty of opportunities to see him in action.
There's no question he's a raw talent, but with a projectable frame and true game-changing speed, he's one of the most intriguing bats in the class.
Holmes made impressive strides in the strength department between his junior and senior seasons, and there's still plenty of projection remaining in his 6'1", 175-pound frame.
Speed will always be his biggest weapon, but there's some legitimate hit and power potential in his offensive game as well, as Baseball America explained: "Holmes has above-average hand speed and shows above-average barrel awareness. He generates torque with wide hips and broad shoulders, and balls really carry off his bat, especially to his pull side. He came out in the spring having added significant muscle, filling in his coat-hanger shoulders."
He also brings some valuable intangibles to the table: "Holmes had success on the summer showcase circuit, establishing a reputation as a strong leader and an enthusiastic competitor. ... Teams love his all-around skill set and elite makeup, both in terms of leadership and work ethic."
Playing in the Northeast is always a double-edged sword. It gives scouts less of an opportunity to evaluate a player, but there's also something to the idea that a prospect could take major steps forward once he starts seeing more reps.
Pro Comparison: Cameron Maybin
While he hasn't turned into the perennial All-Star many expected him to become, this comparison is more about where both players were at physically when they were drafted.
Maybin turned heads with his speed above all else during his time at T.C. Robinson High School in North Carolina.
However, his lean, athletic 6'3" frame offered scouts a chance to dream on future power potential, much the way Holmes provides intriguing upside in that department.
The season we saw from Maybin in 2011 during his time with the San Diego Padres (.264 BA, .716 OPS, 24 2B, 9 HR, 40 SB) represents a reasonable ceiling for Holmes if his offensive game steadily progresses during his time in the minors.
However, there's certainly potential for more if he finds a way to tap into more of his raw power or demonstrates a more consistent hit tool once he starts seeing more reps at the plate.
Think of the current version of Maybin as somewhere right in the middle of Holmes' floor and ceiling.
Projection: Potential future leadoff hitter and plus defender in center field who could swipe 50-plus bags if he hits enough to see 500 plate appearances.
Major League ETA: 2022
Chances of Signing: 99 percent
With a player like Holmes, so much of his draft stock is tied to what could be and dreaming about his future. He's just as likely to hurt his stock as he is to help it if he honors his commitment to Mississippi State. He should be a painless sign.
High school stats courtesy of Gatorade.