Dodgers nearing deal with first-round pick

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers appear to be on the verge of signing their first-round draft pick, judging by the fact he toured their stadium and met several of the players before Monday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies.

The player, pitcher Grant Holmes, said he has an agreement in place pending a physical. The allotted slot amount for the No. 22 pick is $1.98 million.

As Holmes conducted a TV interview Monday, outfielder Yasiel Puig walked up and introduced himself, urging Holmes to get to the big leagues as quickly as possible so they can play together.

“Maybe two or three years,” Puig joked.

Holmes was South Carolina’s Player of the Year last season after going 4-1 with a 0.35 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 40 innings at Conway High. He said the major league pitcher he would compare himself to is Atlanta Braves right-hander Craig Kimbrel, because of his smaller stature and upper-90s fastball.

ESPN’s Keith Law projected Holmes to get picked No. 14 overall, and the Dodgers said they were surprised he was available to them with the No. 22 pick. The Dodgers have now signed 23 of their first 40 picks. Monday they announced the signings of Brock Stewart (sixth round), Jimmy Allen (24th round) and Harlan Richter (27th round).