A Difficult Decision Could be Ahead

Mississippi State baseball signee Jarred Holloway, a 17-year old, 6-4, 210-pound, hard-throwing lefthanded pitcher who played for Russellville (AR) High School, may have a very difficult decision to make when the Major League Baseball Draft occurs on June 7-8th.

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Jarred, who has been selected to play on the Midland Redskins team, an elite summer baseball team based out of Cincinnati, Ohio., has seen his stock rise so high during the past season that those diehard MSU baseball fans who follow recruiting are worried about what will happen when draft day finally comes. Is there reason to worry?

"Right now, we don't really know (what will happen in the draft). We haven't asked anybody where he may fall in (the draft)," said Mark Holloway, Jarred's dad. "There are still people calling here, but he has a plane ticket to go to Midland Tuesday morning. That's his plans right now."

One of the people that has asked about his situation is Mississippi State head baseball coach Ron Polk.

"We talked with Coach Polk about that Saturday night when he came and talked with us after the (MSU-Ole Miss baseball) game. He was kind of checking to see if we had changed our mind any since he last talked to us," explained Mark. "We could tell they may be a little worried about Jarred. All we could tell them is everything is the same here. We told him it was still the same with us; we are happy that Jarred is going to have the opportunity to play at State. We haven't had any change of mind about Mississippi State or anything else."

And their feeling is what as far as possibly going pro?

"It would really take a special circumstance for Jarred to bypass going to school there. We feel like it's only going to improve him if he goes to college," said Mark." What I've told Jarred is you only get one opportunity to play college ball. And you get two, possibly three times to be eligible to go play pro ball."

And the scouts definitely seem to be willing to give him his first opportunity June 7 or 8th. At least based on their interest in wanting to see him throw one last time before the draft. But they are going to have to do it on the Holloway's terms.

"We haven't set up any visits with any pro teams. We've had about 7 to 8 teams ask him to come to their places and throw a pen for them," said Mark. "I told Jarred if you want to go somewhere close and throw and get the experience of the pressure of throwing in front of the general managers of the baseball team you could. But one reason he didn't is we are still working on getting him up to Midland. And he needs to go there fresh. I kind of looked at it if they want to look at him one more time they can watch him in Midland."

And don't be surprised if they take Mark up on that opportunity, especially after what Jarred showed them over the course of the past few months.

"I've seen him (throw consistently) in the 89 to 91 range (with his fastball) and I've seen him (top out at) 93 and 94. I've seen him improve in a lot of areas that other people might not see," noted Mark. "Things like being consistent in his delivery. It was much smoother. He also started throwing a changeup the last four games. He hadn't thrown a changeup since he's been in high school. When we played Bentonville he threw exactly 100 pitches and 48 of them were changeups."

Has his improvement been enough to cause a Major League Baseball team to give the Holloway's that special offer that will take Jarred away from Mississippi State? Check back with Scout.com over the course of the next few weeks - or possibly months - to find out.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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