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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Scouting Report, RHP Josh Johnson

The 26-year old RHP is in his 6th major league season, and last year took a big step to realizing his potential and becoming an ace of the staff, and one of the best pitchers in baseball. He was a 4th round pick out of high school in 2002. His career has been slowed by injuries (Tommy John surgery cut short his 2007 and 2008 season), and he has only started 20+ games twice in his career (2006 and 2009). Last year he was 15-5, with a 3.23 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, and 22-6 since returning from Tommy John Surgery. He has averaged > 8 k/9 and < 3.3 W/9 for his career, while also posting an impressive ground ball %. For his career versus the Mets, he is 7-1 in 10 starts, with a 2.69 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.

Josh Johnson is 6'7" and throws straight over the top, almost throwing straight down to the hitter. He is a three pitch pitcher, throwing a 93-97 mph fastball, an 88 mph slider with sharp and late bite (28% of pitches), and an occassional 86 mph change-up that sinks away from left-handers. He has increased his use of the slider over the past few years, and his velocity increased after coming back from Tommy John Surgery (pre-surgery he was throwing 92 mph).

This year Johnson has continued to throw well, as he is 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 47 strike outs in 43 innings. He has pitched 6+ innings in his last five starts. When he faced the Mets on Opening Day, he was battling the after-effects of the flu and didn't pitch effectively (5 innings, 4 runs, 5 hits, 4 walks, 3 ks), and took his first loss versus the Mets in his career. He has also hit .267 at the plate this year, including 4 RBIs.

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