8. Bryan Holaday
Fans of the 2018 Miami Marlins, few though they may be, have come to appreciate Bryan Holaday as a primo backup catcher. After coming up through the Detroit Tigers system, he also played with the Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox. The Marlins signed him to a one-year, $1,000,000 deal last offseason.
Sure, Holaday didn’t hit very good. He slashed a .205/.261/.258 through the season, with one home run and 16 RBI. He did account for two walkoff hits (see below) and even pitched twice. Who could ever forget when he struck out Rhys Hoskins looking at a 62 MPH junkball?
Holaday’s real value was in his defense. He played 357 1/3 innings of errorless ball, was only charged with one passed ball, and threw out a staggering 45 percent of opposing baserunners trying to steal, brave souls. He handled the staff effectively, called a good game, and frames pitches with the best of them. Another season backing up J.T. Realmuto would see him move considerably up this particular list.
7. Ramon Castro
Ramon Castro carved out a nice little 13-season major league career, and it all started with the 1999 Florida Marlins.
Over his six seasons with the Fish, Castro effectively backstopped 163 contests. Starting in 1999, he was one part of the three-headed catching monster, with Jorge Fabregas and Mike Redmond. 2000 would see more of the same, except Fabregas was replaced by Paul Bako. More on all three of them later in this article.
Castro turned in a perfect defensive season in 2002, catching 203 1/3 innings with a 1.000 fielding percentage, no passed balls, and a 30 percent CS rate backing up Charles Johnson and Redmond. The World Series Champion version of the Marlins would see him back up Ivan Rodriguez and Redmond, although he only got into 18 games.
The interesting thing about Castro is that in all of his six years with the Marlins, he was always third in time played at catcher. So I guess he would be number one in an article about the backup to the backup catcher. Castro put together a .212/.296/.265 slashline with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 207 contests in total. He threw out 94-of-315 trying to steal during his time, good for a 30 percent kill rate.