Clayton Walter Holmes
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 225 lb.
- High School Slocomb (AL) High School
- Debut April 6, 2018
Clayton Holmes was drafted in the 9th round in the 2011 amateur draft.
With a fastball timed as high as 93 mph in high school, Holmes was 11-5 with 126 K in 89 IP as a junior and 6-2 with a 2.06 ERA and 84 K in 54 1/3 IP as a senior. He was rated as the #140 prospect in the country by Baseball America, a late 4th-round pick. He fell to the 9th round due to a commitment to Auburn University. The Pittsburgh Pirates selected him and signed him right before the signing deadline, with a bonus of $1.2 million. It was easily a record for a 9th-round pick, breaking Jason Middlebrook's $750,000 mark from 1996. The scout was Darren Mazeroski. He made his pro debut with the 2012 State College Spikes; facing the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on June 22, he tossed five shutout innings (3 hits, one walk, 5 strikeouts) to get the win.
He made his major league debut with the Pirates early in the 2018 season, being called up when Joe Musgrove went on the disabled list (he had been the 26th man for a doubleheader in the first series of the year). In his first game, he gave up 1 run in 2 innings of relief in a 14-3 win against the Cincinnati Reds on April 6th. He pitched 11 times for the Pirates that year, including 4 starts, going 1-3, 6.84. In 2019, he was strictly a reliever in his 35 outings for the Pirates, going 1-2, 5.58. He struggled with his control, walking 36 batters in 50 innings, but did strike out 56. In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he made just one appearance with the Bucs, spending the bulk of the year at their alternate training site, and did not allow a run on 2 hits in 1 1/3 inning. However, he was a regular member of the team's bullpen in 2021. Results were slightly better, but overall not very different than his performance in his first couple of seasons: in 44 games, his ERA was 4.93, with a record of 3-2, 44 Ks and 23 walks in 42 innings. The Pirates were a last-place team once again and looking to extract any value they could from players they had no intention of keeping in the longer run. On July 26th, one day after trading 2B Adam Frazier, they sent Clay to the New York Yankees in return for two minor leagues, IFs Diego Castillo and Hoy Park.