Brian Johnson   Pitcher

       
 
Born: December 7, 1990
Birthplace: Lakeland, FL
Height: 6-3
Weight: 250
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
   
Drafted: 1st round, 2012 by BOS;
27th round, 2009 by LAD
How Acquired: Draft
College: Florida
High School: Cocoa Beach (FL)
   

Photo © Kelly O'Connor
Brian Johnson photos by Kelly O'Connor
Pronunciation: ---
First Pro Contract: June 27, 2012 (BOS)
Signing Scout: Anthony Turco
Signing Bonus: $1,575,000
   
Pro Debut: July 29, 2012 (Lowell)
MLB Debut: July 21, 2015 (BOS)
   
Twitter: @Brian_Johnson35
Instagram: @bjohnson_35
   
   
Released (August 2020)

 
 
 
 
 
     
  Scouting Report & Links      
         
  Physical Description: Maxed out physically. Strong frame with thick lower half. Body that can withstand the rigors of starting professionally.

Mechanics: Stands middle of the rubber. Hands set shoulder height. Full wind up. High leg kick. Stands tall with good balance over rubber on posting leg. High three-quarters arm slot. Average arm speed. Compact delivery that he repeats well. Gets over his front side well and lands in good position to field. Works extremely quickly; gets the ball back from the catcher and throws it.

Fastball: 88-93 mph. Has topped out at 95 mph in the past. Historically starts games out 89-91 mph, but settles into the low-90s as he loosens up. Sat more in the high 80s in 2018-19, but velocity reportedly ticked back up in 2020 spring training. Has shown downward movement, but can also straighten out at times. Lacks life. Solid-average command and control to both sides of the plate. Fringe-average grade.

Curveball: 73-76 mph. Best secondary offering. 1-to-7 break. Command and control to both sides of the plate. Will throw to right-handed hitters both down-and-in on their back foot and back-door on the outside corner. Average to slightly above-average offering.  

Slider: 76-79 mph. Early, short, cutting type action. Clear third offering, now uses the pitch as a change of pace. Mixes it in well to keep hitters guessing. Fringe-average pitch.

Changeup: 83-86 mph. Arm-side fade. Threw to both right-handed and left-handed hitters in any count earlier in his career. Average command and control. Mostly dropped the pitch in 2019. Fringe-average grade.


  Career Notes: Two-way player at the University of Florida also played first base. 2012 season ended after he took a line drive to the face during start at Futures at Fenway with Lowell. Spent entire offseason rehabbing and unable to eat solid food, and lack of offseason preparation likely affected his 2013 campaign, including a DL stint that season with shoulder tendinitis. Elbow irritation in 2015 led in part to subpar MLB debut. Missed most of 2016 season dealing with anxiety. DFA’d in November 2019. Requested and received his release in August 2020 after not being called up to Boston despite the club's struggles in the starting rotation.

Summation: Projects as a swingman with the potential to be a number five starter. Average pitch mix with solid-average command and control. Lacks swing-and-miss pitch and a plus offering. Advanced knowledge of pitching and sequencing. Strong pitchability, knows how to pitch. Tempo pitcher that works fast. Impressive feel for pitching having recently committed to pitching full-time. Incredibly smart and has a good understanding of reading hitters. Gives his best effort every time with a fearless, determined approach.

Links

Johnson ramping up (8.16.12)
2013 Prospect Preview
Johnson looking to put batted-ball accident... (3.22.13)
2013 Top 40 Season in Review
Dispatches from the Fort: Spring Training 2014 (3.27.14)
Scouting Scratch: Brian Johnson (6.30.14)
2014 Top 40 Season in Review
Johnson prepared to follow up stellar 2014... (1.21.15)
The Write-Up: Matt Barnes, Brian Johnson, Keith... (4.28.15)
Brian Johnson ignores the noise, dominates... (5.15.15)
2015 Top 40 Season in Review
Johnson fully healthy after season of... (4.6.16)
Scouting Scratch: Owens and Johnson (4.20.16)
 
   
     
    Pitching Stats                                          
  year team lg level org age w l era g gs sv ip h r er hr hbp bb so whip k/9 bb/9
2010 Florida SEC NCAA --- 19 6 4 4.03 16 14 0 73.2 88 38 33 9 0 14 51 1.38 6.23 1.71
  2011 Florida SEC NCAA --- 20 8 3 3.62 16 15 0 79.2 78 36 32 4 0 15 72 1.17 8.13 1.69
  2012 Florida SEC NCAA --- 21 8 5 3.90 17 17 0 90.0 87 42 39 8 0 18 73 1.17 7.30 1.80
  2012 Lowell Spinners NYPL A- Bos 21 0 0 0.00 4 4 0 5.2 2 0 0 0 0 1 4 0.53 6.35 1.59
  2013 GCL Red Sox GCL Rk Bos 22 0 0 0.00 2 2 0 5.0 1 0 0 0 0 2 7 0.60 12.60 3.60
  2013 Greenville Drive SAL A Bos 22 1 6 2.87 15 15 0 69.0 50 29 22 4 4 28 69 1.13 9.00 3.65
  2013 Salem Red Sox Caro A+ Bos 22 1 0 1.64 2 2 0 11.0 9 2 2 0 0 5 8 1.27 6.55 4.09
  2014 Salem Red Sox Caro A+ Bos 23 3 1 3.86 5 5 0 25.2 23 13 11 0 0 7 33 1.17 11.57 2.45
  2014 Portland Sea Dogs East AA Bos 23 10 2 1.75 20 20 0 118.0 78 29 23 6 0 32 99 0.93 7.55 2.44
  2015 Pawtucket Red Sox IL AAA Bos 24 9 6 2.53 18 18 0 96.0 74 34 27 6 0 32 90 1.10 8.44 3.00
  2015 Boston Red Sox AL MLB Bos 24 0 1 8.31 1 1 0 4.1 3 4 4 0 0 4 3 1.62 6.23 8.31
  2016 GCL Red Sox GCL Rk Bos 25 0 1 3.86 2 2 0 7.0 7 4 3 0 0 2 9 1.29 11.57 2.57
  2016 Lowell Spinners NYPL A- Bos 25 0 0 0.00 2 2 0 11.0 7 0 0 0 0 2 11 0.82 9.00 1.64
  2016 Pawtucket Red Sox IL AAA Bos 25 5 6 4.09 15 15 0 77.0 74 38 35 9 1 36 54 1.43 6.31 4.21
  2017 Lowell Spinners NYPL A- Bos 26 0 0 3.37 1 1 0 2.2 2 2 1 0 1 2 4 1.50 13.50 6.75
  2017 Pawtucket Red Sox IL AAA Bos 26 3 4 3.09 17 17 0 90.1 82 32 31 10 1 28 70 1.22 6.97 2.79
  2017 Boston Red Sox AL MLB Bos 26 2 0 4.33 5 5 0 27.0 32 13 13 5 0 8 21 1.48 7.00 2.67
  2018 Boston Red Sox AL MLB Bos 27 4 5 4.17 38 13 0 99.1 104 49 46 16 1 38 87 1.43 7.88 3.44
  2019 Portland Sea Dogs East AA Bos 28 0 1 10.50 3 2 0 6.0 11 10 7 1 0 3 7 2.33 10.50 4.50
  2019 Pawtucket Red Sox IL AAA Bos 28 1 0 3.68 6 3 0 14.2 13 6 6 1 1 8 19 1.43 11.66 4.91
  2019 Boston Red Sox AL MLB Bos 28 1 3 6.02 21 7 0 40.1 53 29 27 6 0 23 31 1.88 6.92 5.13
   
     
  Advanced Stats & Splits
   
     
  Awards   SoxProspects.com Awards  
  2010 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American
2010 Baseball America Freshman All-American
2012 John Olerud Award
Carolina League Pitcher of the Week (April 14-20, 2014)
Carolina League Pitcher of the Week (April 21-27, 2014)
Eastern League Pitcher of the Week (June 9-15, 2014)
2014 Eastern League All-Star
2014 Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year
International League Pitcher of the Week (April 20-26, 2015)
2015 International League All-Star
International League Pitcher of the Week (May 1-7, 2015)
2017 Lou Gorman Award
  2013 SoxProspects.com Pre-Season All-Star
SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week (May 20-26, 2013)
SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week (April 14-20, 2014)
SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week (April 21-27, 2014)
SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week (July 21-27, 2014)
SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week (August 18-24, 2014)
SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month (August 2014)
2014 SoxProspects.com Season-End All-Star
2014 SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Year
2014 SoxProspects.com Breakout Player of the Year
2015 SoxProspects.com Pre-Season All-Star
SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week (May 25-31, 2015)
SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Week (June 22-28, 2015)
2015 SoxProspects.com All-Star
2016 SoxProspects.com Pre-Season All-Star
2017 SoxProspects.com Graduate of the Year
 
   

   
     
     
     
 
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