Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 55 of 286. Stay tuned.
John Bryan Holaday is a 6′, 205 lb. right-handed catcher from Dallas, Texas. Born on November 19th, 1987, Holaday was a sixth round pick of the Detroit Tigers in the 2010 Amateur Entry Draft, 193rd overall. He’s one-of-12 picked 193rd to eventually reach the majors, led by Tom Seaver (1965, Los Angeles Dodgers, 110.1 career WAR), Dave Heaverlo (1972, San Diego Padres, 7.4 WAR), and Matt Capps (2002, Pittsburgh Pirates, 6.3 WAR). You can follow Holaday on Twitter @jbholaday.
Getting to the Miami Marlins
Prior to getting drafted, Holaday played four seasons of college ball, the last three with Texas Christian University. When drafted, he had accrued a .336/.391/.526 slashline, with 33 homers and 197 RBI in 240 contests. He also threw out 51 percent of basestealers as a senior. He worked his way up through the Tigers system, with an initial #20 organizational prospect ranking, then making his major league debut with them in 2012 and appearing in 108 games through 2015.
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After Spring Training in 2016, Detroit traded Holaday to the Texas Rangers for fellow catcher Bobby Wilson and RHP Myles Jaye. Later waived, the Boston Red Sox picked him up for the remainder of the campaign. They too, released him after the season.
The Philadelphia Phillies signed Holaday soon after that, but cut him just prior to the commencement of the 2017 major league season. The Tigers picked him up for the year, then parted ways after the season.
On November 30th, 2017, the Miami Marlins signed Holaday to a minor league deal and issued him an invitation to Spring Training. Initially earmarked for the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League, the Marlins instead selected his contract on March 29th as the season got underway.
The Miami Marlins signed Holaday hoping for a solid backup catcher, and that’s exactly what they got. He played in 61 games in total, racking up 357 1/3 errorless innings behind the plate. He threw out 17-of-38 baserunners trying to steal, for a gaudy 45 percent kill-rate, and only passed one ball. He slashed .205/.261/.258 at the plate, with one homer and 16 RBI, going 31-for-151 with 10 walks. On April 7th, Holaday came into a 20-1 blowout loss to the Philadelphia Phillies to pitch an inning. He threw eight pitches in a perfect frame, striking out Rhys Hoskins with a 62 MPH….fastball?
On July 9th, Holaday hit a walkoff 10th-inning RBI single in a 4-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Just over a month later, on August 11th, he doubled home Miguel Rojas in an 11-inning walkoff win, 4-3 over the New York Mets.
Holaday only collected hits in 27 of his 61 appearances, including four multi-hit games. As seen above, he could usually make them count with a clear flair for the dramatic. He has completed the terms of his deal with the Miami Marlins, and is free to sign anywhere for the 2019 campaign and beyond.
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