Dodgers Team News

Dodgers News: Micah Johnson Ranked Among Top 2B Prospects

We’re in prospect season, so naturally more and more lists are coming out.

In the past lists, Julio Urias was the top left-handed pitcher, Jose De Leon was the fifth rated right-handed pitcher, and Cody Bellinger was the sixth best first baseman.

Today, MLB Pipeline released their list of the top ten second baseman in the minors. Not shockingly, Micah Johnson was on the list.

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From columnist Jonathan Mayo:

7. Micah Johnson, Dodgers
Don’t use Johnson’s brief trial as the White Sox’s regular second baseman as a measure of who he can be in the big leagues. He may never be more than an adequate defender, but he can hit, he can get on base and he can run, as evidenced by his .301 average, .368 OBP and 153 stolen bases in 385 Minor League games. Perhaps the change of scenery in Los Angeles, courtesy of the three-team trade that brought Todd Frazier from the Reds to Chicago, will help.

The Dodgers ended up making a trade that netted them the left-handed hitting Johnson back in mid-December. As Mayo notes, Johnson isn’t a great fielder, achieving a “40” grade in that department on the 20-80 scale.

Johnson uses his solid hitting approach, great run tool, and great arm to make up for the rest. While he wasn’t rated as highly as former Dodger 2B Jose Peraza, who was in the same trade as Johnson, he still brings tools that will help the team in the future.

For reference, Peraza was rated as the second best second baseman in baseball.

There’s a possibility that Johnson could take over the full-time second base job as early as later on this season, but it’s more likely that it’s his role starting in 2017.

It’s still great to see where the prospects come out on lists like this, especially since they’re produced by themselves.

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  1. I think it’s interesting the right handed Peraza that is known as a good hitter whose on base is only a bit higher than his batting average is listed higher by MLB (2nd) than Johnson (7th) who had a .368 OBP in the minors. I’m guessing that’s due in part to those at bats in Chicago but Micah has a big future for the Dodgers and is more akin to the type of profile they like in a 2nd baseman: hit, run, works counts, high on base, etc.

  2. ChrisTerrell  I agree that the Dodgers like the offensive potential (OBP) of Johnson.  But his defense is rated low.  I have not seen him play, so it is difficult to make any comparisons to current or former Dodger 2B. Dee Gordon went from a questionable defensive 2B to a gold glove, so defense can be improved.  I understand from a very good and reliable source that Chris Woodward is an exceptional infield instructor.  Perhaps he can help Johnson improve.

    I read that both the Braves and Dodgers were both souring a little on Peraza.  He is very fast, and a better defender. He also does not strike out much.  I believe they saw a lower ceiling because of his lack of patience at the plate and lower OBP.  I don’t know who would win a foot race from the plate to 1B, but I doubt that any difference would be significant.  Johnson is considered a good base runner (as opposed to just a base stealer), and that is what the Dodgers lacked so much in 2015.

    Behind closed doors, I think that the Friedman and Zaidi would like to see Micah Johnson win the 2B job in ST.  This is not taking anything away from Kike’ Hernandez.  Andrew’s favorite player was Ben Zobrist, and he values that super utility player.  But in order for that to happen, there has to be other roster changes so that Kike’ can get enough ABs against LHP.  Otherwise, Micah is back at OKC and waiting for 2017.

  3. ChrisTerrell I’ve always wondered about the hype surrounding Jose Peraza too.  I mean sure it was great to acquire him last year, almost seemingly as a throw in, in the deal that also netted us Wood, Avilan, and he-who-shall-not-be-named, but honestly I’m with AlwaysCompete on this.  I think Peraza is that typically high floor/low ceiling type player.  Because he makes consistent contact, rarely striking out, should hit for a high average, has fantastic wheels, and plus defense, most scouts see his ceiling as higher.  At the very least he will provide value with his glove and speed.  

    Johnson on the other hand has everything Peraza has and more, but his floor is much lower in many scout’s minds I’d imagine.  He can hit for the same average, and even has a better minor league stats overall.  Batting average only one point less (.301 to Peraza’s .302) but OPS is .799 to .729.  In terms of speed, Peraza has 210 stolen bases out of 259 attempts in 461 games; Johnson has 153 out of 205 in 385 games.  Those equate to ratios across 162 games of 74 SB 14 CS for Peraza and 64 SB, 22 CS for Johnson.  Defensively, Johnson has rated around 40-50, but has a been rated for having a 50-55 arm (slightly above average).  Honestly, if we can help turn Dee Gordon, who was pretty messy at 2B defensively, into a Gold Glover, then I don’t see why Johnson, with speed, can’t do the same.

    I like Johnson better than Peraza at the top of our lineup because he’ll bring a similar bat with a little more pop, and the ability to walk more, and I think he’ll still be a solid SB threat, especially with Dave Roberts at the helm.

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