Thursday, March 24, 2005

Elliot Johnson Report

Elliot Johnson, 2B, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent, 2002, HS, Thatcher, AZ
Bats B/Throws R
21 YO, 6'0", 171 lbs

Johnson is a speedy middle infielder who caught my eye with his walk rate and the steals.

2004 Charleston: .262/.339/.370, 22 2B, 7 3B, 6 HR, 54 BB, 91 K, 43 SB, 15 CS, 503 AB
mL Career: .253/.346/.344, 36 2B, 8 3B, 7 HR, 110 BB, 171 K, 65 SB, 22 CS, 806 AB

It bears mentioning that he drew 38 walks with 32 strikeouts in 151 South Atlantic League at bats in 2003. You don't find that kind of walk rate in the Rays system. If he maintains that kind of plate discipline and flings a few more flares into the outfield, he has the ability be a very nice leadoff hitter in the near future. You aren't going to see him in the majors anytime soon, but roto players would be well advised to have him on their radar screens starting in 2007.

Defensively, Johnson is still a bit raw. But the Rays should be applauded for finding a legitimate prospect like this when nobody else was interested. This is how scouts earn their stripes. They find a real prospect out in the middle of the no man's land that is the deserts of rural eastern Arizona.

ETA: 2007/2008
3 Stars

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