After three solid seasons at Yale University, right-handed pitcher Jon Hollis posted a lofty 8.15 earned run average in his senior season in 2006.
"Last year I just had a lack of confidence," said Hollis of his last season at Yale. "My fastball was up a lot and I didn't really have a second pitch that was all that effective."
Despite the rough season, the Texas Rangers liked his arm enough to select him in the 38th round of the MLB Draft.
Currently having a decent season out of the bullpen for the Clinton LumberKings, Hollis says he is feeling better this season.
"This year I've got better command of my pitches, more confidence, and I'm in better shape mentally when I go out there," he said.
Hollis, who gave up just three earned runs in 14 innings with Clinton last year, currently has a 4.58 earned run average in 39 1/3 innings with the club. He is also holding opposing hitters to a .221 batting average.
The righty also talked about his three-pitch repertoire.
"My fastball is usually in the upper-80's and sometimes it'll touch 90 or 91," said Hollis. "I usually sit around 87-89 miles per hour. My changeup and slider are usually in the high-70's, low-80's."
The Florida native went on to say that he has learned from his first full season in professional baseball.
"There have been some ups and downs, but that's going to happen over a 140 game season," said Hollis. "I've learned a lot from the bad outings and I've gained a lot of confidence from the good ones."
Hollis was recently able to enjoy some time off during the Midwest League All-Star break. The 6-foot-3 hurler enjoyed the rest, especially since they had already taken care of business on the field.
"It was nice going into the All-Star break having already clinched a playoff spot," explained Hollis. "I went home to Jacksonville, Florida, and spent some time with my family there. It was good to just kick back and relax for a few days and rest my arm a little bit."
While the pitcher played baseball at Yale, he was also able to receive a degree from the Ivy League institution. He believes the degree is important, especially if a career in baseball doesn't work out.
"It takes a lot of pressure off my baseball career," said Hollis of his Yale diploma. "I can just kind of go out there and do my thing knowing that if it doesn't work out, I'll be alright. It's important because you never know when you could have a career-ending injury or something like that. It is always nice to have that degree to fall back on."
Already clinching a spot in the Midwest League playoffs, Hollis would just like to continue to win games for the rest of the season.
"I would just like to go out there and do my job when I'm called on," he said. "I want to give our team a chance to win the game."
Hollis showing improvement with L-Kings
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