By Laura Amato
Quentin Holmes sat waiting for his phone to ring, desperately wishing his last name started with ‘A.’
The Monsignor McClancy baseball star had just wrapped up a week of games and scouting days at the 2016 Tournament of Stars and he was waiting, with bated breath, to find out if he had made the 40-man roster for the 18U National Team Trials.
Holmes was confident he had made the cut, but he had to admit that waiting to hear his name, announced in alphabetical order, left him feeling more nervous than he’s been in quite some time.
Eventually, Holmes got the call and, just as he had hoped, he made the team. He will be the only player from New York to compete at the trials in Houston, Texas in September.
“I had a good feeling that I was going to make it, but when they started calling the names in alphabetical order, that may have been the most nerve-wracking experience of my life,” Holmes said.
“When they got to the H’s, I heard a Hall and then another Hall and I was just like, OK, I’ve got to be soon. As soon as I heard East Elmhurst, I knew and I was thrilled.”
Holmes’ talent on the baseball diamond has been well documented for years. He’s committed to play college ball at Mississippi State and his speed has already become the stuff of legend in New York City.
His performance at the Tournament of Stars, however, and the announcement that he made the 18U team, took that reputation and thrust it into the national spotlight.
Holmes’ name was all over social media during his week at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., mentioned by professional scouts and fans alike as he consistently put bat on ball.
“I knew that I could play with these guys, but I didn’t think that I’d do so well against them,” Holmes said. “Going out there and playing how I played was definitely a good thing for me. It was huge for my self-esteem.”
Holmes may have added another notch to his impressive resume at the tournament, but the rising senior didn’t change his game at all. In fact, he was as calm as ever in the batter’s box, even when staring down a 90 mph fastball.
“I mean I’d see a fastball and I just jumped on it. That’s just the easiest way to put it,” Holmes said. “Most of the other guys that struggled, they looked at a lot of pitches that were in the zone. I didn’t do that. I saw a pitch and if it was in the zone, I went for it.”
The Tournament of Stars was simply the beginning of a jam-packed summer of baseball for Holmes. He competed in a Perfect Game tournament in Georgia earlier this week and is slated to play in the Under Armour All-American game in Chicago later this summer. In August, he’ll head to Tampa for the East Coast Pro Showcase as well as San Diego for the Area Code Games.
Then, of course, USA Baseball in September.
It’s a whirlwind of flights and different uniforms and, hopefully, hits, but Holmes wouldn’t change any of it for the world.
He doesn’t get tired of the game. He loves it and, most importantly, he’s more confident than ever.
“It is a lot, but it’s a lot of fun,” Holmes said. “It’s hard to get tired of it. I know a lot of the guys, so we get to have fun with that, too. It’s not just baseball, it’s about getting to play with my friends.”