Following yesterday’s selection of Keenyn Walker, the White Sox predictably went after a college arm in the second round. Erik Johnson, a RHP out of Cal, goes to the Sox in the second round.
Johnson, 20, was selected at 80 overall and is ranked as the 97th best prospect in the draft by Baseball America.
On the MLB.com live stream of the draft Jonathan Mayo said he is a workhorse type arm that should move quickly through the system, but doesn’t have overpowering stuff. He has four pitches.
Johnson comes in at 6-2, 240 pounds and according to BA has a low 90s fastball, a good slider a show-me curve and an inconsistent change. The scouting report questions his mechanics, saying he sometimes loses his arm slot.
The right-hander went 6-4 as a junior this year with a 2.91 ERA in 96 innings (16 starts). He struck out 96 and walked 50 while allowing 63 hits (3 HR). Just from those numbers it’s clear that control is something Johnson needs to refine. If the Sox can get him to repeat his delivery, he could end up being a solid pick.
Cal just won a regional this weekend, which means you can follow Johnson in next weekend’s Super Regional play. The Cal Bears will take on Dallas Baptist. Johnson pitched twice in regional play, both starts against Baylor, and he got roughed up both times. In the opener Friday he gave up five runs in 2.1 innings, walking six with just one strikeout. In the final yesterday he pitched on a short rest and gave up five runs in three innings with four strikeouts and three walks.
Earlier in his college career Johnson put up similar numbers. As a freshman: 67.1 IP (19 games, 9 starts), 4.41 ERA, 55 K, 28 BB, 71 H. As a sophomore: 77 IP (16 games, 13 starts), 4.09 ERA, 73 K, 34 BB, 85 H.
In our draft preview for pitchers, Johnson fit the mold of a possible pick and here’s what Jeff said about him: “Fastball sits low-90’s topping out at 95. Mixes it with a knockout
slider and inconsistent curve/change, though the change flashes good