Who knew a stroke of the pen could relieve so much pressure?
That's what Greer Holston said Wednesday morning after signing to play baseball at Ole Miss.
"It feels like a weight is off my chest," said the former St. Stanislaus standout, now at IMG Academy. "It's great. It's finally starting to come true."
Wednesday marked the first day of the early signing period.
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Holston originally committed to Ole Miss during his sophomore season over interest from LSU, Alabama, Mississippi State and other regional and SEC schools, so Tuesday was a long time in the making.
"I grew up an OM fan so everything I love about the campus is all in one," Holston said. "I just knew I was going to go there from the start and they just happened to offer me first."
Holston said his role with the Rebels is still up in the air. He hopes to pitch as a starter at some point, but said there's a chance he pitches out of relief early on.
About the only thing the standout Rockachaws shortstop is sure of is that the Rebels are taking the bat out of his hand.
"I wish they would let me bat," he laughed. "I text them every day, telling them to take another look for my stats -- but they have guys who are there to hit."
As a junior, the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder hit .450 but was also a dominant hurler for SSC, posting a 9-1 record with a 0.85 ERA. He struck out 99 batters in 74 1/3 innings of work while leading the Rockachaws to the Class 4A state championship.
One of the best
According to Perfect Game USA, which scouts recruits similarly to websites like Rivals.com and Scout.com, gave Holston a "10" grade, which means he's seen as a potential very high draft pick and an elite college prospect. PG rated Holston, prior to transferring, as the fourth Mississippian in the 2016 signing class, behind George County's Walker Robbins, a Mississippi State signee, and Oxford duo Thomas Dillard and Grae Kessinger, both Ole Miss signees. PG also ranks Holston 151st overall in the 2016 class and No. 48 among right-handed pitchers.
Holston boasts a fastball that sits anywhere from 88 to 92 miles-per-hour and with his low three-quarters arm slot, the pitch has plenty of movement. He calls his slider his "money" pitch and has been working on a changeup since transferring to IMG late in the summer.
"Tall well proportioned athletic build, strong now but has plenty of room to get stronger. Gets good hip turn and coil in his delivery, long and loose arm action, 3/4's arm slot, will spin off occasionally on release especially when trying to get glove side," reads his PG scouting report. "Fastball to 92 mph, gets huge running life on his fastball at times, almost sharp biting action down in the zone, very difficult to square up and lift when located, can pitch aggressively in the zone with his fastball due to the movement. Change up shows similar movement, works well off the fastball, quality pitch. Still developing feel for his breaking ball, harder velocity slider is his best offering, softer curveball shape tends to hang and sweep.
"Not a normal starter delivery profile but fastball movement is a plus weapon and has some feel for the strike zone. Has a chance to really keep improving."
Making a change
Holston said he planned to complete his high school career at SSC until a few weeks before school started when he learned a spot opened up for him at IMG Academy. He said it was a chance to further his development as a player that led him to transfer to the Bradenton, Fla., based school.
"It's going great," Holston said. "St. Stanislaus did a great job of developing me into a man and the same decision to go to St. Stanislaus led me to transferring to IMG."
So what about the draft? There's a good chance Holston will hear his name called in June's MLB draft.
"It's a little early for projections," he said. "I'm just going to take the best route for me."
Holston paused momentarially before continuing: "But I really want to play college baseball."