Holaday with the Detroit Tigers
November 19, 1987 |
|June 6, 2012, for the Detroit Tigers|
(through 2017 season)
|Runs batted in||46|
|Career highlights and awards|
John Bryan Holaday (born November 19, 1987) is an American professional baseball catcher who is a free agent. He made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut on June 6, 2012, with the Detroit Tigers. He has also played in MLB for the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox. Prior to his professional career, Holaday played college baseball at Texas Christian University (TCU) for the TCU Horned Frogs. In his senior season at TCU, Holaday won the Johnny Bench Award, given to the best collegiate catcher for the season.
Holaday attended Warren Travis White High School in Dallas, Texas, where he played for the school's baseball team. Holaday was a two-way player, appearing as both a pitcher and shortstop. In 2006, he was named to the Class 5A All-State Third Team by the Texas Sports Writers Association. Opposing teams began to consistently walk Holaday, leading the team's head coach to use him as the team's leadoff hitter. He competed in the Connie Mack World Series after the 2006 season.
After graduating in 2006, he enrolled at North Central Texas College, where he was initially a third baseman. During the season, he transitioned into a catcher. During the summer of 2007, he played collegiate summer baseball for the McKinney Marshals of the Texas Collegiate League.
Holaday transferred to Texas Christian University (TCU) before his sophomore season, becoming the starting catcher for the TCU Horned Frogs baseball team. In 2010, his senior season, he batted .355 17 home runs, 53 runs batted in (RBIs), and 72 runs scored in 68 games played. He was credited for his work with the Horned Frogs' pitching staff, especially freshman Matt Purke. He led the Horned Frogs to the Mountain West Conference (MWC) tournament, winning the tournament Most Valuable Player award. He was also named the Most Outstanding Player of the Houston College Classic. Holaday was named to the All-MWC first team, though TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle indicated that he felt Holaday should have won the player of the year award over C. J. Cron, due to his contributions as a batter and as a fielder. TCU reached the 2010 College World Series (CWS), the school's first CWS appearance. Holaday was named to the CWS All-Tournament Team. He was also named a Second Team All-American and won the Johnny Bench Award as the top collegiate catcher for the season.
The Detroit Tigers selected Holaday in the sixth round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. He signed, and played for the Lakeland Tigers of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League that season. He attended Tigers' spring training as a non-roster invitee in 2011. He played for the Erie Seawolves of the Eastern League, the Tigers Class AA affiliate, during the 2011 season. He was again invited to spring training as a non-roster invitee in 2012. He started the season with the Toledo Mud Hens of the Class AAA International League, where he batted .248 with no home runs and ten RBIs.
The Tigers promoted Holaday to the major leagues on June 6, 2012, as the team added him to their 40-man roster due to injuries to starting catcher Alex Avila. He became the third position player selected in the 2010 draft to reach the majors, following Bryce Harper and Kole Calhoun. Holaday made his MLB debut that day. He had one hit in four at bats during his debut.
Holaday was recalled June 17, 2013, when catcher Alex Avila was placed on the disabled list. After the 2013 season, the Tigers informed backup catcher Brayan Peña they would not re-sign him, giving Holaday the opportunity to become the backup to Avila. Holaday competed with James McCann to be the backup catcher behind Avila during spring training in 2015. McCann won the competition, and Holaday began the season in the minor leagues.
Once again, Holaday entered Spring Training in 2016 competing for a backup role, this time with Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Despite losing the job, Holaday attracted large amounts of trade interest due to hitting .438/.455/.969 in 16 games and his lack of minor league options remaining. In 4 seasons with the Tigers, Holaday hit .251/.283/.340 with 3 HR and 30 RBI in 108 games.
On March 29, 2016, the Tigers traded Holaday to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Bobby Wilson and Myles Jaye. Holaday began 2016 sharing catching duties with Robinson Chirinos. Following the acquisition of Jonathan Lucroy, Holaday was designated for assignment.
Boston Red Sox
On December 20, 2016, Holaday signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. After being informed that he would not make Philadelphia's roster to begin the season, Holaday opted out of his contract.
Return to Detroit
On March 31, 2017, the Tigers signed Holaday to a minor league contract and assigned him to the Toledo Mud Hens. On September 1, 2017, the Tigers purchased Holaday's contract. At the time of his call-up, Holaday was hitting .269 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI in 93 games for Toledo. He was outrighted to Triple-A on November 3, 2017, and elected free agency on November 7.
Holaday's older brother, Bobby, also played for the baseball team at Warren Travis White High School.
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