John Silviano is a 5’11”, 190 lb. outfielder from Hypoluxo, Florida. Born on July 11th, 1994, he was picked out of Summit Christian School in West Palm Beach by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 13th round of the 2012 draft, with the 415th choice off the board. For comparison’s sake, Devon Travis, who has a career 6.0 WAR with the Blue Jays already, was selected nine choices later (by the Detroit Tigers).
After his selection, and nine days after his 18th birthday, Silviano was assigned to the GCL Blue Jays, in the Florida-based rookie instructional league. In 39 contests, he slashed .164/.298/.284, not hitting very well but showing a lot of patience at the plate. He drew 22 walks and struck out 21 times, with a pair of homers and 17 RBI in 141 plate appearances. Defensively, he played catcher and registered a .991 fielding percentage, with one error in 113 chances.
The Jays promoted Silviano to the rookie-level Bluefield Blue Jays, in the Appalachian League for the 2013 campaign. In 34 games, Silviano slashed an anemic .141/.239/.282, with three home runs and 10 RBI. Bluefield used him as their designated hitter. His hitting prompted Toronto to send him back to the GCL Blue Jays in 2014, where they waived him after he went two-for-28 in his first seven games.
Silviano didn’t appear professionally anywhere for very nearly two years after getting the axe, before Miami signed him to a minor league deal in June of 2016. The Marlins assigned him to the class-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League, and he slashed a career best .212/.281/.449 in 44 games, with eight homers and 19 RBI. The Hoppers preferred to try Silviano out behind the plate defensively, and were disappointed with seven errors in 228 chances for a .969 fielding percentage.
In 2017, Silviano made his high-A debut with the Jupiter Hammerheads, where they tried him out in the outfield on most days. He played 28 games in right and 29 in left, starting 42 times at DH and twice at first base. Despite rising a level and facing correspondingly sharper competition, Silviano again raised his already career-high slahsline to .245/.311/.417 over 103 appearances, with 13 round-trippers and 55 RBI. He also went four-for-four in stolen bases. On June 14th, Silviano started in left field and batted fifth for the Hammerheads, collecting seven RBI on a pair of home runs in a 14-1 victory over the St. Lucie Mets. On August 20th, in an 8-6 loss to the Florida Fire Frogs, Silviano batted cleanup and finished four-for-five from the plate with a solo home run.
After a slow start to his career, Silviano is now progressing normally through the levels of the minor leagues and should start the season in Jacksonville with the Jumbo Shrimp.