Jordan Holloway was a surprise addition to the Miami Marlins 40-man roster prior to the rule 5 draft on Thursday.
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 167 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Jordan Lee Holloway is a 6’4″, 190 lb. right-handed starting pitcher from Arvada, Colorado. Born on June 13th, 1996, he was chosen out of Ralston Valley HS in the 20th round of the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft. Follow him on Twitter @jordholl14. Here’s a great interview with him on Fish Stripes.
Chosen 587th overall, Holloway would be the fifth player to make it to the major leagues if he gets that far. The group is led by Paul Molitor (1974, St. Louis Cardinals, 75.7 career WAR) and Brad Boxberger (2006, Kansas City Royals, 1.8 WAR).
After coming to terms with the Miami Marlins for a $400,000 signing bonus, Holloway joined the rookie-level, Florida-based Gulf Coast League, with the GCL Marlins on July 10th. In his first professional look, he only struck out eight batters in 26 2/3 innings and ended with a 6.41 ERA and a 1.725 WHIP.
Holloway remained on GCL’s official roster until June 12th, 2015, when he was reassigned to the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the single-A South Atlantic League. After two appearances, he was sent to the short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League. He started 16 times through the season, striking out 44 in 77 innings, with a 1.429 WHIP and a 3.39 ERA.
Holloway began 2016 ranked number 10 in BA and number 14 in the Pipeline for the Miami Marlins.
"At 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, Holloway is a projectable right-hander with considerable room left for growth. His fastball sits in the low 90s and bumps higher at times, and he uses his height to create a steep angle toward the plate. Holloway made strides with his curveball last season, throwing it with tighter spin and good depth, but he does struggle to get on top of it at times. His changeup is a work in progress, but it could develop into a viable third pitch. – MLB Pipeline, 2016"
2016 would see Holloway split the year between the Muckdogs and Greensboro, going 2-7 with a 6.19 ERA and a 1.667 WHIP. He struck out 41 in 48 innings.
Holloway, by then the number 17 Pipeline Marlins prospect, seemed to finally put everything together for the Grasshoppers in 2017, with whom he started 11 games. He struck out 50 batters in as many innings, holding opponents to a 1.260 WHIP and a .220 average. On June 3rd, he was placed on the disabled list, and he wouldn’t pitch again for over a calendar year. He then underwent Tommy John Surgery.
"I thought it was going to be a lot worse, but wrapping up and looking back at it now, I realize I got the opportunity to further myself and my growth. I could go into more of a positive direction because I had the alone time with coaches—not facing live talent gave me a chance to face myself. Just watching video over and over trying to figure out how to turn my body into a healthy outlet to throw more strikes and be more of a pitcher. – Holloway, as quoted by Ian Smith on Fish Stripes."
Here’s Holloway pitching with the instructional league in September, 2018, courtesy of 2080baseball.com. Yeah, he’s touching 98 now, with a plus-curve.
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After a three-game rehab assignment with the GCL Marlins, Holloway joined the Muckdogs near the very end of the season. He appeared twice, and didn’t allow any runs, walks, or hits in five innings of work, getting 36-of-45 pitches in the strike zone, an incredible 80 percent conversion rate.
Holloway has since been moved up to the single-A Clinton LumberKings in the Midwest League, and on November 20th was moved to the Miami Marlins active list in order to protect him from the rule 5 draft. His development has been slowed due to injury problems, but he seems ready to resume rising through the system. It looks like the earliest we would see him with the Miami Marlins is during the 2021 season.
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