In The Dugout: Bryan Holaday, C, Texas Christian
Holaday's senior year has gotten off to a roaring start. The senior catcher went 10-for-17 last week and earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the Houston College Classic, raising his overall line to .444/.528/.689 with one homer, six double and 11 RBIs in 45 at-bats. But Holaday's impact on the Horned Frogs goes way beyond the numbers, as we found out In The Dugout.
Aaron Fitt: You must be seeing the ball really well. How big does it look to you right now?
Bryan Holaday: Yeah, I'm seeing it really well. It's just something that Coach (Todd) Whitting has helped me out on, sticking with an approach, sticking with a plan, and that's just helped me out a lot.
AF: It seems like you've kind of mastered that move where it looks like you're going to nonchalantly throw back to the mound, but instead you throw behind the baserunner.
BH: We call it the sleeper play. It's kind of our little thing. Whenever we notice them going back to the bag kind of sluggish, we do a little delayed pickoff.
AF: It's pretty obvious watching you that you're a grinder, throwback kind of player. Is that an accurate description?
BH: Absolutely, that's exactly how I try to play. Just be that kind of dirtbag and hustle everything out, because my mentality is hustle can make up for mistakes.
AF: I understand that coach (Jim) Schlossnagle told you when you came back this year that this is your team, you're going to be the leader of this team. What have you done to try to take these younger guys under your wing?
BH: Well, I've tried to lead by example, and lead through talking as well. But my main thing is that since this is our team, I'm not going to be the sole leader. I'll let other guys take charge, and I encourage that. That's helped us mesh.
AF: You're also in charge of discipline for this team, right?
BH: I am. Earlier in the year we had some slip-ups, some people showing up late for things. So me and some of the other seniors threw out the Ten Commandments of TCU baseball, and we had everybody sign their life away to it. So, I'm in charge of disciplining people however I want. So we had a guy late for a workout, so he's got locker room duty for the rest of the year, and made him read a book in one trip—which is tough for him.
AF: I want to ask about your development as a catcher too. You came in as a third baseman out of high school; how have you matured behind the plate?
BH: Working at it. (Volunteer) Coach (Ryan) Shotzberger has really done a great job of helping me receive and block. Just working on it every day, I just adapted to it once I realized that's where I was going to be every day. And I love it.
AF: It must be fun to work with this staff too—you've got power guys, you've got finesse guys, down under guys, over the top guys, a lot of different looks.
BH: There's a lot of diversity on the staff in terms of that, but they all know exactly how they can pitch, and they don't try to do too much. They trust the guys that are behind them, which really helps them out.