School: Moorpark Junior College
Cardinal: Selected in the 34th round of the June, 2000 First-Year Player Draft.
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JS (13): "I was very glad to see the Cardinals get Johnson back after Oakland selected him in the 2004 Rule 5 draft. He uses a low-90s fastball and a devastating curveball to rack up strikeouts. He struck out 77 in 59 innings for Memphis and another four in 2-2/3 for St. Louis in 2005. He will compete with Carmen Cali for a possible third lefty spot in the Cardinals bullpen in spring training."
LM (12): "This is pretty much where I placed Johnson. He is that lovely combination of a lefty that chalks up a lot of strikeouts. Seventy-seven of the one hundred seventy-four outs Johnson recorded this season were by strikeout for a 44.25%. No other reliever above class A came even close. He was unscored upon the final month of the season, a stretch of ten innings over nine appearances. The main question mark for me on Johnson right now remains his attitude. He has a bit of a reputation for not wanting to put in the effort to succeed at the highest level. An article with Johnson in the Memphis Commercial Appeal this summer indicated that he had an attitude adjustment. However, he subsequently declined the Cardinals' invitation to play winter ball. There may have been compelling personal reasons of which I am unaware for Johnson's decision. However, I remain concerned that Johnson may not yet "get it"."
RM (10): "The Cardinals purchased the contract for Johnson in September from Triple-A Memphis. Johnson had a 4.27 ERA in 59 innings as a reliever for Memphis, but he maintained his exceptional strikeout rate, fanning 77 batters. He appeared in five games for the Cardinals, pitching 2.2 innings and he finished with a 0-0 record and 0.00 ERA. The Cardinals have always liked Johnson's arm, but there has been concern about his control. It appeared near the end of the season and during his brief call up in September that Johnson had made significant strides in improving his control and command of pitches. Johnson is on the 40 man roster and should be in the running for a spot in the bullpen when the season starts. There are some reports that suggest that Johnson may be bumped off the 40 man roster, but I doubt it. He should see some playing time in St. Louis this season."
BW (11): "Another story that is well-known. Left unprotected, claimed in the 2004 Rule 5 draft by Oakland, then returned to the Cardinals. Rumors of attitude concerns resurfaced when Johnson declined a request by the organization to play winter ball. However, if the lefty can get his act together, he still has a chance of earning a spot in the 2006 Cardinals bullpen, if not initially, later as an injury reinforcement."
STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking); JS = Jason Scott; LM = Leonda Markee; BW = Brian Walton; RM = Ray Mileur; NR = Not Rated
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