Bryan Holaday | Catcher | #50
2014 salary: Pre-arb
2013 statistics: .296/.367/.444, 1 HR, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 SB, 2 BB, 3 K
Projected role: Backup catcher
Editors Note: Due to extenuating circumstances, we’ve fallen a bit behind on 30 Tigers in 30 Days. We will rectify this by posting the remaining Tigers (all five of them) within the next 24 hours. Stay tuned!
Bryan Holaday inherits the role that Brayan Pena held last year: backup catcher (although where Pena liked to talk about his nipples, Holaday prefers his burgeoning swimsuit modeling career). Holaday is already 26 – he was drafted out of college, where he won the Johnny Bench Award for best collegiate catcher in his senior season. As such, he was a comparatively polished product coming out, becoming the third position player from the 2010 draft class to reach the majors (and one of the two that got there ahead of him was Bryce Harper).
Those 2013 statistics you see look good, but they were accumulated in just 34 plate appearances. He never hit all that much coming through the system, and that’s unlikely to change now. Since there’s so little data on him we can’t tell you much about his pitch framing and the like, but Holaday is regarded as a solid defensive backstop who had a fair amount of success throwing runners out on the bases, at least in the minors (in 2011 and 2012 he threw out 34% of would-be basestealers). The projections expect little on offense but enough on defense to make Holaday a positive WAR player and if he can do that, he’ll be a very capable backup to Alex Avila and might be able to contribute nicely on days when the Tigers face a left-handed starter.