Tigers Make DFE Deadline Signing

Today is the final day to sign 2006 draftees that are carrying over to this summer, and the Tigers have come to terms with one of the players they still had the rights to. Who is the newest member of the Tiger organization?

With the deadline for their final draft-and-follow class looming Wednesday night, the Tigers have agreed to terms with one of their 2006 draftees. Brandon Johnson, a sophomore right-hander at Butler Community College in Kansas signed with Detroit late on Tuesday, eschewing a commitment to Western Illinois in the process.

"We're extremely excited for him," said Butler coach Steve Johnson. "He is an outstanding young man who is definitely a work-in-progress, but he continues to mature and we hope he'll continue to do that with the Tigers."

Johnson's better days should be ahead of him. He has a loose, lanky frame that scouts always love to see and at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, he gets good movement on his fastball that sits in the 88-89 range, but touches 91. Johnson also throws a slider and a changeup, both of which are developing and need more consistency, although he made significant progress with his slider this spring.

For the year, Johnson went 8-3 with a 4.23 ERA in 14 starts. In 68 innings, he allowed 69 hits, walked 22, and fanned 57.

Given the work he needs on his secondary pitches, he would be a candidate to be with the GCL Tigers this summer.

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