How did you do this past spring?
"To be truthful with you, I had a terrible spring. I figured out pretty quick, probably in my second outing, that pro ball wasn't really going to be an option for me this year." [John was 5-4 with an ERA of 2.67.-Gene]
"When I got sick I wasn't able to pitch for about two weeks. I got tonsillitis, then I had an allergic reaction to the medicine that I was taking. I ended up not being able to eat for about two weeks. I lost about 20 pounds and got down to 198 to 200 pounds."
That probably affected you the rest of the season?
"I had a really good feel for my mechanics going into this season at that point, but after I got sick, I didn't really have that same feeling and I never really developed it as the season went on. Actually, my mechanics got worse as the season went on. But I've had a couple of good outing the last few weeks."
What happened to your velocity once you got sick?
"It went down after I got sick. But at the end of the year, for the first couple of innings, I was throwing 86 to 88 (miles per hour) and may have hit 89."
Based on what you said, it doesn't sound like you will be going pro this summer even if you are drafted.
"Definitely. Even if I go out and have a blockbuster summer and wind up hitting 95, I am still going to come to State."
Who are you going to be playing with this summer?
"Dulins Dodgers. We are going to be playing about 5 or 6 games a week until a week before August. I believe I will be starting for them every 4 or 5 days."
What do you think about the group of players that you are coming in with next fall?
"I'm really excited about the guys that they signed. I'm really looking forward to it."
Did you keep up with Mississippi State baseball this season?
"I did. I kept looking on the webpage all season keeping up with the guys. I'm really excited about the future. (Brad) Corley tore it up this year. He hit something like 18 or 20 (home runs). One of the things I looked at when they recruited me was all those guys who would be juniors when I came in as a freshman. I thought my freshman year could be a really good year for State. Hopefully, I will have to fight for a position to get on the field. I hope that is how it works out."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher/owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders sports network. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.