Q&A With Indiana Commit Jeff Holtz

By Steve Nielsen
Scouting Supervisor – Wisconsin/Illinois

It’s crazy to think that three freshman from the state of Wisconsin have already made college decisions, but that just speaks to the level of talent coming up in that class and the state of Wisconsin baseball as a whole. C Jeff Holtz (Arrowhead) was the most recent 2018 graduate to make a verbal commitment, choosing the Hoosiers. Here’s a look at what Holtz had to say about the process and how he decided on Indiana.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult? 

Holtz: My expectations about the recruiting process were that it was going to be very intense and stressful based on what people have told me and their experiences. I found out that it was not nearly as intense as I thought mostly because of my baseball coach Greg Reinhard. He made all of the connections between the coaches and I. Coach gave me tips along the way about how to first call another coach and how to be confident when performing in Showcases. Overall the recruiting process was very easy and for me a lot of fun!

PBR: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

Holtz: I was looking for coaches that really focused on you as a person and a player. I loved that the Indiana University coaches welcomed me in the first time I met them. I was also looking for a program that would help me to improve and help me succeed in college and hopefully move to the next level.

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

Holtz: Absolutely, my family is my biggest fans. I wanted to go somewhere that would be easy for my family to come and cheer me on. Seeing them during the year was a big factor in my decision making for college. As a player it is always good to see your family in the stands.

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Holtz: The recruiting process really started to heat up for me during the GRB Top Prospect Camp. Coach Reinhard had over 45 college schools at the event. An event that turned the corner for me was the PBR Junior Futures Games and the GRB Top Prospect Camp.

PBR: Where did the college you chose first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Holtz: Indiana University first saw me during the GRB Top Prospect Camp. On the way back home from a camp at the University of Louisville I stopped in to meet the Indiana coaches and to get a quick tour of the athletic facilities at Indiana.

PBR: What do you like most about the college you committed to and what were the key factors in making your decision?

Holtz: My most favorite part of Indiana was how stunning the campus was, the organization of the athletics, and the professionalism of the coaches. Once I saw the whole campus I started to picture myself going there and realizing that Indiana was the college I wanted to go to. The key factors in making my decision were the distance from home, the quality of the education and the beliefs of the coaching staff. I also wanted to go somewhere where I knew I could succeed and continue my baseball career.

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

Holtz: Louisville, Florida, and Nebraska were on my list before I made my decision to commit to Indiana.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Holtz: The best player I have ever played with is Stephen Lund of Verona. He is hands down one of the best hitters I have seen and he has a cannon behind the plate. But, the best player that I have faced is probably Luke Howard from Muskego. He has a great swing and can hit bombs. Luke is a tough out when playing against him.

PBR: 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?

Holtz: I started to realize I was a college caliber player when I was in 13u baseball for the GRB Rays. I was told by many people and coaches that I had what it takes; I just needed to keep working and never lose focus of my goals.

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

Holtz: The advice I would give to younger baseball players is to push yourself, celebrate successes but always be hungry to get better. Work hard, enjoy the process, understand this is a game with many highs and lows, don’t get too down on yourself if you are hitting the ball hard and still making outs.  

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

Holtz: My most memorable moment in my baseball career was making the GRB Rays. I was so worried that I wouldn’t make it because there were so many kids trying out. Also another memorable moment was going 19 for 29 in the 13U CABA World Series where my team took second. It was an amazing experience to play against East Cobb from Georgia. They are such a good team and I would love to play them again.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

Holtz: I will be playing for Arrowhead High School this spring and I believe that our varsity team is going to be very good. We have very strong pitchers and good hitters. Coach Mancuso is an awesome coach and I look forward to learning from him.  My goals are to contribute wherever I am asked to play, be a great teammate and develop as a player by seeing great opposing pitching and by playing great teams

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Holtz: I play for the GRB Rays and will be playing with the 17U team this year. My most memorable moment with them was when I got the opportunity to play in the USSSA Elite 32 Games in Florida. My team and I had a lot of fun working to get there and while we were there had a blast and even though we did not do very well it was still a cool experience to play against the top teams in the United States.

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