Dropped from Braves at the end of 2009, Kelly Johnson found little interest in his services and ended up in Arizona on a one year contract paying him just $2.3 million. Arizona gambled that Johnson would rebound from, among other things, a .247 BABIP in 2009 that severely depressed his offensive numbers. Rebound he has. Though his 2010 BABIP remains below his career rate, Johnson is hitting a superb .303/.394/.697, good enough for a .459 wOBA which is slightly above 2009’s .306 mark.
Johnson’s walk rate has returned to the level that he had the first few seasons of his career helped by a drop in out of zone pitches that he’s chasing. Despite a slight rise in how often he misses on his swings, Johnson’s strikeout rate has remained near his career level.
The real story for Johnson has been the power. Never much of a power hitter, Johnson is already at nine home runs and has another eight doubles to boot. Well over half of his hits (17 of his 27) have gone for extra bases and combined with his high average gives rise to that atmospheric slugging percentage.
The Diamondbacks will pay Kelly Johnson just $2.3 million this season. They’ve already received over twice that in value. Johnson is not going to continue posting a 1.100 OPS and hitting 30% of his fly balls over the wall, but even after he tails off he will have a good shot at being one of 2010’s best free agent bargains.
Print This Post