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12/30/1989 (27 y, 2 m)
2011 June Amateur Draft - Round: 2, Pick: 20, Overall: 80, Team: Chicago White Sox
$0.5M / 1 Years (2014)
Johnson (elbow) signed a minor league contract with the Padres on Friday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. (12/16/2016)
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(Click Year to Expand /
The second round draft pick for the White Sox in 2011, Johnson took to pro ball like a fish to water, although a shoulder injury kept him off the mound until mid-season. He breezed through two A-ball levels in 17 starts and has a good shot of opening 2013 in Double-A. Johnson overpowers hitters with a plus fastball and two very good breaking balls, which help him rack up the strikeouts. He has a big, strong frame that should allow him to provide plenty of innings -- if his shoulder can hold up. If Johnson, 23, opens 2013 in Double-A, he will be one of the better arms in the upper levels of Chicago's system and he could reach the majors by the end of 2013 of certainly at some point in 2014. He has the ceiling of a number two or three starter, depending on the development of an off-speed pitch. (Marc Hulet)
The Quick Opinion:
Johnson still has work to do but the potential is there for him to develop into a solid mid-rotation starter. However, he's probably a year or two away from making an impact in Chicago.
Johnson's easy motion and fastball-slider-curve combination were polished enough to portend an ascent to the majors in 2013, but the addition of two mph to his heater turned him from just a potential fourth starter to a pitcher who could really make an impact. Johnson's power slider -- which reaches 90 mph -- and big overhand curve give hitters two effective and dramatically different looks to worry about, and his big frame and easy delivery portend durability and command. After breezing through the upper minors and turning in five passable September starts, he's primed to be a solid innings-muncher in his rookie campaign on the rebuilding White Sox in 2014. He could evolve into a reliable mid-rotation rock and should reach his ceiling in fairly short order. (Nathaniel Stoltz)
The Quick Opinion:
Johnson ascended to the big leagues in his second full pro season and looks ready to hold his own there in 2014. He has three average-or-better pitches and projects to have good command and durability, making him a potential third starter in the near future.
It was a rough season for Johnson. After opening the season in the rotation, Johnson pitched his way to the minors after just five starts. His numbers were atrocious. In 20 starts at Triple-A, Johnson posted a 6.73 ERA. Turns out, he was pitching with shoulder issues most of the year. Johnson wound up on the minor-league disabled list in August with shoulder soreness, ending his disappointing season. It doesn’t seem like the White Sox are depending on Johnson for much in 2015. Once upon a time, he was considered a possible back-end starter. If healthy, it’s possible he regains some of that promise. If not, he’ll probably spend the whole year in the minors. (
The Quick Opinion:
Johnson had an awful season, and enters 2015 with little to no expectations. There’s a chance he regains some of his old promise, but it’s clear the White Sox aren’t depending on him for anything this year.
He's not quite a post hype sleeper given how expectations have appropriately recalibrated, but Johnson quietly put together a solid 2015 that has him penciled in as the lone righty in a rotation of lefties. The key now is sticking at the major league level, but giving him the benefit of the doubt to do so is putting faith in Triple-A performance. That's fine, because Johnson showed marked improvement with a strong strikeout rate and trimmed walk rate, resulting in a 2.37 ERA in 132.2 innings and the starting nod in the International League All-Star game. That earned him a late season look as the White Sox moved to a six-man rotation, and while he posted a 3.34 ERA, his strikeouts and walks didn't carry over (he had a 5.93 FIP). Still, that's a small sample, his velocity bounced back into the low 90s, he's made some mechanical changes, and it was a very good minor league showing. Still just 26, Johnson's someone to keep an eye on during spring training. He won't strike batters out like he did at Triple-A, but if the reduced walks are legitimate, he could be a mid-4s ERA arm. (Blake Murphy)
The Quick Opinion:
A few mechanical tweaks led to a terrific Triple-A season, but Johnson couldn't quite carry that momentum over to a September audition. He'll enter spring training fighting for a rotation spot, and he's worth keeping an eye on in AL-only formats in case the changes start to take hold at the major league level.
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Updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 3:32 AM ET
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