2006 Draft: Cody Johnson talks with the media

The Atlanta Braves have agreed to a contract with Cody Johnson, selected 24th in the first round of Tuesday's amateir draft. The Braves Show's Bill Shanks has the interview Johnson had with the media right after being drafted.

REPORTER: Can you talk about your feelings being a first round pick?
JOHNSON: It's an honor to be drafted by the Braves. Growing up watching the Braves, it's the only team I've ever really rooted for. It's the one place I've always wanted to play. It's amazing to be drafted by the Braves.

REPORTER: Were you surprised to be drafted by the Braves?
JOHNSON: I sort of expected it. Even if you know where you're going, it's always a surprise just to see your name and hear your name called. It was amazing. I was speechless when my name came up.

REPORTER: We've read some things saying that you've had some trouble with your swing. What do you think has happened since last summer when you had so much success?
JOHNSON: I think all that was rumors gone wrong. People took one game, I mean I had one bad game last summer, and just my luck it was a nationally televised game. There have been reports that I struggled through the summer, and last summer I hit .496 with 22 home runs and 115. I don't know by whose standards that's struggling. I felt I had a very productive summer and just one bad game.

REPORTER: What about the high school season this year?
JOHNSON: Normally during the high school, I would normally start out a little slow in the first five to ten games. As you get more repetitions and get later into the season, that's always when I come on, mostly the end of March through May. I started really pounding the ball in our spring break tournament in South Florida, and it didn't stop from there on out.

REPORTER: Could you tell us where Mosley High School is?
JOHNSON: Mosley is actually in Lynn Haven. It's about five miles apart. Everything's just right here bunched together.

REPORTER: When you were up here for the pre-draft workout, was that the first time you've been to Turner Field?
JOHNSON: I haven't been up there recently for any Braves games. I played at Turner Field for the Perfect Games National Showcase. That was the first time I was actually out on the field.

REPORTER: Can you talk about your play in the outfield?
JOHNSON: I feel my speed profiles better in the outfield. I'm a little more comfortable in the outfield. I'm still adapting to really adjusting to reading the ball off the bat and just starting to understand how to throw runners out. Last summer was the first time I had really played the outfield for a significant period of time. It's still a learning experience for me.

REPORTER: We saw video of your swing and it kind of reminded us of Adam LaRoche. Is that a fair comparison?
JOHNSON: I can see a little bit of it, but my approach is completely different. I can see the similarities in the swing a little bit though.

REPORTER: Who has always been your favorite Brave?
JOHNSON: My favorite Braves has been Chipper Jones. I think that's probably everybody's answer.

REPORTER: Do you feel you sold the Braves when you were up here last summer for the Perfect Games?
JOHNSON: Yes during the Perfect Game wood bat tournaments I played in front of most of the Braves' scouting staff, and I know that Roy Clark was there. I played in front of him a good deal. That was where I was first recognized by the Braves.

REPORTER: Did you feel you made a good impression on the Braves after your workout last weekend at Turner Field?
JOHNSON: Yeah I had a very strong showing. I took a very good round of BP. I ran well. I threw well. I felt like I showed the complete package.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look at the Braves' traditional front office philosophies. Email Bill at thebravesshow@email.com.

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