Yankees legend and former relief pitcher Mariano Rivera has a lot of praise for Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Clay Holmes. In fact, he believes that Holmes has the potential to become a star in the league once again.
Holmes was a highly touted prospect in the Pirates organization after being drafted in the ninth round of the 2011 MLB Draft. He quickly climbed through the ranks and made his debut in 2018, where he showed flashes of his potential but struggled with consistency.
Rivera recently spoke about Holmes on an episode of the YES Network’s “Yankees Hot Stove” show, saying, “I’ve seen a lot of potential in him. He has a great arm, he has velocity, he has great stuff.”
Holmes has a fastball that can reach up to 98 miles per hour, as well as a slider and sinker that can be effective pitches when used correctly. However, his command has been an issue in the past, which is something Rivera believes can be corrected with more experience and guidance.
“He just needs to keep working and stay focused,” Rivera said. “With the right mentorship and the right guidance, he can be a really good arm in the bullpen.”
Rivera, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest relievers of all time, knows a thing or two about mentoring and guiding young pitchers. He spent 19 seasons with the Yankees, accumulating a record 652 saves and helping lead the team to five World Series championships.
If anyone has the ability to identify potential in a young pitcher, it’s Rivera. And if he believes that Holmes has what it takes to become a star, it’s hard to argue with his assessment.
Holmes will have a new opportunity to showcase his abilities in the upcoming season, as he was recently traded from the Pirates to the Yankees. With the added guidance of Rivera and the other veteran pitchers in the bullpen, there’s a good chance he can find the consistency he needs to reemerge as a star in the league.