MSU Junior MIF John Holland

Middle infielder John Holland Chattahoochee Valley (AL) Community College was one of the top junior college players in the nation and had several top programs to choose from. He ultimately chose Mississippi State.

  • Name: John Holland
  • Position: Middle Infield
  • Class: Junior
  • HT: WT: 5-11, 175
  • Bats-Throws: L/R
  • High School: Northview High School, Johns Creek, GA
  • Junior College: Chattahoochee Valley (AL) Community College (via Florida State)

  • Holland explained why he felt Mississippi State was the best fit for him.

    "I had offers from Auburn, UGA and UNC (in addition to Mississippi State)," said Holland. "Why I chose Mississippi State, I had never seen facilities like this ever before and my visit here felt more homey. It felt like the coaches really cared about me as a person and cared about family. I also met six to eight guys on the team while on my official (visit) here and there was something completely different about the kids that I met here. They were more down to earth. I didn't get that at other schools. I felt there was more of a need for me to be here than just being a nice addition to a team."

    As for being a nice addition to the team, he will definitely be that. He was one of the top hitters in the junior college ranks last season, hitting .406 with 8 triples, 4 home runs and 38 RBI. He also stole 26 of 31 stolen base attempts.

    "I am a line drive hitter who hits more for average and gets on base, draw my walks and try to have minimum strikeouts, but there is also some pop there," Holland said. "I can (also) steal bases. I (also) pride myself on deceiving the defense, taking bases when they aren't expecting it."

    He explained his hitting philosophy, a philosophy that is actually quite simple.

    "As a hitter, I am always looking fastball," said Holland, who initially signed with Florida State out of high school before transferring to Chattahoochee Valley (AL) Community College after redshirting his sophomore season at FSU. "I think that is where some people kind of mess up. I just sit on the fastball. I had a big hit in the (2012) College World Series on an 0-2 fastball. It was a two-run double that tied the game against Arizona."

    As for which position he will play while at Mississippi State, that is yet to be determined.

    "(The MSU coaches) talked to me just a little bit about positions when they were recruiting me," said Holland. "We have our followup meeting this week. They are looking at shortstop but, as you can see, with Seth Heck only making four errors and hitting right at .300 last year that will be a challenge to overcome. But looking at it right now, I'm just looking at him and me up the middle and how dangerous that can be in the SEC."

    In between his junior college season and his first fall at MSU, Holland continued to hone his skills by playing with an invitation-only junior college team. He was selected to play with the NJCAA USA National Team, a team made up of some of the best players in the country from the National Junior College Athletic Association. They participated in the National Baseball Congress World Series where they went 4 and 2. Two-time NJCAA National Coach of the Year Marc Rardin of Iowa Western coached the team.

    "I got to spend a couple of weeks with the team," said Holland, who batted .300 during the tournament. "There were a bunch of kids from different levels of junior college. They had kids from California, Oregon, Florida, Texas, really all over. We played in the NBC World Series in Wichita, Kansas. We were actually knocked out of the tournament by (current MSU teammates) Jake Vickerson and Cody Walker's team. I think we went something like 4 and 2 during the tournament."

    He talked about why he felt that he was selected to the team.

    "I had a good season and was on a team that had something like 16 D-I commits," said Holland. "We were number 1 in the nation for about 8 consecutive weeks, so, I think there was a lot of spotlight on our team as a whole."

    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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