Thursday, May 12, 2005

Dan Johnson Report

Dan Johnson, 1B, Oakland Athletics
Drafted 221st Overall (7th Rd), 2001 Draft, University of Nebraska
Bats L/Throws R
25 YO, 6'2", 220 lbs

I'm a little stunned that I've been reviewing prospects here for 8 months now and I'm just now getting around to talking about Johnson. He's the epitome of the kind of prospect I like to talk about. He's a freaking hitter. He hits for power, average, draws walks. What the hell else is there that you want your first baseman to do? Oh, alright. Yeah, it would be nice if had Scott Hatteberg's glove. And adding another lefty bat to Oakland's lineup would seem to be the picture of redundancy. And he doesn't have quite the offensive ceiling that you see with Prince Fielder or Daric Barton, but he's still clearly a Major League hitter right now. And it would be nice if he had the ability to run the basepaths like Derrek Lee or Jeff Bagwell in his prime, but not every car is a convertible with a V8. There's nothing wrong with having a couple with a sunroof and V6, especially with gas prices the way they are today.

2004 Sacramento: .299/.403/.534, 29 2B, 5 3B, 29 HR, 89 BB, 93 K, 536 AB
pre-2005 mL Career: .292/.377/.511, 94 2B, 12 3B, 88 HR, 241 BB, 325 K, 1751 AB

Thus far the reigning PCL MVP is picking up right where he left off, posting a .313/.407/.539 line in his first 128 at bats. He has more walks than strikeouts. And the Rivercats have won 5 in a row. Meanwhile, the A's offense has absolutely cratered. Hatteberg and Durazo are hitting like third string catchers. You see where I'm going with this, right? It's only a matter of time before Johnson becomes a fixture in Billy Beane's lineup. When he gets there, don't expect 45 home runs a season, but 25-35 per year with a decent average, and enough walks to make a good on base percentage. Among BP's list of most comparables are Mo Vaughn and David Ortiz, who probably count as his upside, Pete LaCock, who has a funny name and constitutes a worst case, and Paul Sorrento, who looks like good middle ground to me.

ETA: Past Due
4 Stars

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