Prep Baseball Report

Q&A With Air Force Commit Joshua Holst

By: Peter Hamot
Area Scout, Staff Writer

LHP Joshua Holst (Libertyville, 2025) made waves over the summer, particularly at the Future Games where he represented Team Illinois. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound southpaw opened up some eyes with his upper-80s fastball, playing with noteworthy carry and run. To compliment his fastball he goes to both a slider and a curveball, showing the abillity to land both offerings for strikes and to miss barrels - he'll also flip in a deceptive changeup with heavy fade. Holst will surely look to help headline a talented Libertyville squad this year, and they'll have their sights set on another deep playoff run. 

We recently sat down with Holst to talk through his recruiting process, and some other fun topics along the way. 

Our Q&A

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Joshua: The new recruiting rules really put an emphasis on my performance this previous summer. I knew that Future Games would also be huge for my recruitment. When it came to colleges, I really wanted an academic institution that could set me up later in life. I also love to win, and I knew I needed a program that has the same values as me.   

P: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision? 

J: I really wanted to leave the Midwest, but it wasn’t that big of an issue. 

P: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Where did the school you committed to first see you play? 

J: Well considering the August 1st rule, the first two days where coaches were allowed to contact us were really active. Air Force reached out a couple weeks later since they saw that I was interested in the Academy. They watched video from my Twitter and profiles, then went from there.

P: What do you like most about the program you chose, and what were the key factors in making your decision? 

J: The Air Force Academy is unlike any other school in the country. The opportunity to play high-level Division 1 baseball, and the education that the Academy gives me is unparalleled. I have also always wanted to be a pilot, so it was either a school with aviation or the Academy.

P: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision? 

J: Notre Dame, Michigan and Cincinnati.

P: Who is the best player you have faced in your state? What about them makes for a tough opponent?

J: Aside from my own teammate, Quinn Schambow, I would say Ethan Moore (Oak Park-River Forest, 2025; Louisville). He is such a tough out, and he never chases bad pitches which makes it extremely difficult to get him to swing and miss or get soft contact. 

P: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college-caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level? 

J: I would say last winter was my big realization. I worked a ton on my strength and mechanics and gained eight mph in my fastball. After that winter I gained college interest over the spring and had a couple coaches watch me during the high school season - as well as a ton more during the summer.

P: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

J: There’s no goal that you can’t work to achieve. I was told countless times I wouldn’t be able to get where I’m at, and people still tell me I can’t do it. Focus on yourself, and do everything possible to be the best version of yourself and it will all work out.

P: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

J: Pitching in the Regional Championship last spring was a big moment, and I was happy to be on the mound and hit a homerun in that game to help us win.

P: Preview your high school team's season for us. How do you feel your team will be? 

J: People should watch out for us. We have so much young potential in our sophomore and freshman class. Along with many juniors such as myself, Quinn Schambow and Cole Lockwood. We’ve got a chance to make a state run, and that’s exactly what we plan to do.

P: How did the Future Games and/or the Illinois State Games affect your recruitment process? Did you receive more attention following the event(s)? 

J: The Future Games was probably the biggest aid in my recruiting process. I received most of my interest from it.

P: If you could steal any tool or quality from another player in the state, what would it be and who would it be from? 

J: Probably Jack Bauer's fastball. 

P: Who is the next talented young player to keep an eye on out of your high school or travel program?

J: Chase Lockwood. A 2026 RHP who’s got the chance to be really good. He’s a hard worker who will develop a ton this winter and play a huge role for us this spring for Libertyville. Definitely a guy colleges will want to follow as he progresses throughout the rest of the year until Aug 1st.

P: Did Prep Baseball assist in your recruiting? Whether it be through a showcase, tournament coverage, tweets, etc?  

J: Yes, videos posted on my profile were viewed by coaches. 

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