Johnson To Be One of Top Picks in 2006

Amateur scouts, scouting directors and cross checkers will be flocking south this spring to Panama City, Florida and Mosley High School, to take a look at one of the top rated high school seniors in the country. Cody Johnson is drawing the attention of teams all around major league baseball because of his potential and raw power.

"My father was the first to put a bat in my hand when I was four years old, and I have been swinging ever since" Johnson told the Network.

The 6'4, first baseman/outfielder recently showed off his skills in the AFLAC All-American game over the summer. The event was topped off by Johnson receiving the AFLAC National High School Player of the Year Award, presented to him by Rachel Robinson.

After putting on an impressive batting practice display throughout the week, Johnson also spent time on the mound during a scrimmage between the West and East team, however, that was the last things scouts wanted to see. Johnson will be making his millions with his power potential, and the speed of his legs - not with the speed of his fastball.

This past July, Johnson was invited to the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Association showcase. In a second round game, Johnson led his East Cobb Georgia team to victory with a two home run performance. The previous week Johnson participated in the Associations 17-and-under event, earning the tournament MVP honors, with a 12-for-18 performance. Six of his twelve hits went for extra-base hits.

The left-handed batter has traveled all around the country and has played in many high pressured situations that it is hard for him to pick out his greatest baseball moments.

"It's tough to say" Johnson said. "I'll tell you one of my best games came as a sophomore in high school."

Johnson was on the varsity team for the first time, and was playing in the District Championship Game. The lead kept on changing throughout the game and Johnson came up in the top of the ninth with the game tied at five.

"I hit my second home run of the game to give my team a 6-5 lead, capping off a 5-for-5 performance" Johnson said. After a pause, the question was asked whether or not his team held the lead and won.

"We lost 7-6" Johnson said while laughing.

The decision on where to play his collegiate baseball was on easy one for the Florida native. Living just an hour and a half away from his top choice, combined with the integrity of the coach and the program, all that was left was for Johnson to receive the offer.

"I have committed to Florida State. There were no other schools I was really considering. I verbally committed to FSU two days after they put the offer on the table."

"Cody is a tremendous left-hand hitter, with a rare combination of hitting power and speed on the bases" said Florida State Head Coach Mike Martin in a recent press release announcing the signing.

Johnson, the No. 2 ranked prospect in the nation by Baseball America for the 2006 season, has an aggressive approach at the plate, is a left-hand hitter, plays two positions, and above all runs the 60-yard dash in 6.6 seconds.

Recruiting coordinator Jamey Shouppe was ecstatic about the commitment of Johnson, but as with any top recruit, the danger is whether the AFLAC All-American will walk for a professional contract.

"Signing guys who are AFLAC All-Americans is great if you are able to keep them," said Shouppe. "It's all premature right now."

"Cody Johnson is probably the best high school hitter in the country. Things would really have to happen in our favor for him to come to school."

Johnson was candid about his outlook for the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft telling he does not have a preference, and it's a win-win situation for him.

"Some people believe I will go to college, while others believe any offer I get from a club I will accept. For me, it doesn't matter. If the money is what my family and I deem as ‘life altering,' I will take it. If not, I have a great second option that will give me my education."

Already labeled as a five-tool player, Johnson models his game after Ted Williams. Not only is Johnson a tremendous hitter, but he does not worry about what the scouts or media has to say about his game.

"I don't evaluate myself that much, and don't like to talk about myself – I find it embarrassing. If scouts are calling me a five-tool player, then so be it."

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