2013 Red Sox Top Prospect Voting #14: Brian Johnson, The Other First Rounder

Matt Ryerson-US PRESSWIRE

Brian Johnson was the safe pick in a weak draft class, but that doesn't mean he's not a valuable piece.

Brian Johnson seems, at times, to be something of the forgotten man. 2011's first rounders had a certain flare to them. Matt Barnes was, of course, Matt Barnes, expected to be one of Boston's best right out of the gate. Blake Swihart was the huge ceiling to dream on. Even Jackie Bradley and Henry Owens, the supplemental picks, fit into similar roles.

For 2012, though, it seems like Deven Marrero gets some consideration at the top of the draft, and then the rest sort of get muddled together. Chances are this is as much a matter of the Sox drafting eight straight pitchers as anything else, so we can't necessarily put the blame on the individuals in question.

Still, there's something to the likes of Brian Johnson that and co. that make them easy to overlook. And for Johnson it's probably the fact that he was the safe pick in a relatively weak draft class. There's nobody sitting around proclaiming that Johnson will be the next Jon Lester, or anything close to that. Despite being a lefty with a pretty good fastball and couple solid off-speed offerings, the 22-year-old Johnson does not have anything in his arsenal or build that wows.

On the other hand, what seems clear is that he has enough. He knows what he's doing on the mound, and has enough of a repertoire to get outs at the major league level. He's unlikely to disappear in Portland or Pawtucket, and once he makes the majors can just keep on holding a spot until age or injury get in his way.

That's sort of player isn't exactly exciting, but there are 30 major league teams out there who would be happy to have a guy like Brian Johnson on the roster. Because as much as average is boring, it is also valuable. In a year where the Sox are hoping for John Lackey and Felix Doubront to provide them with average years, the lack of a player like Brian Johnson is all the more noticeable. Hopefully, when he's ready to make the jump a couple years down the line, Johnson can keep the Sox out of any such desperate straits.

Alright, we're through 13 now, set to wrap this list up right around the turn of the month.

  1. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  2. Jackie Bradley, OF
  3. Matt Barnes, RHP
  4. Rubby De La Rosa, RHP
  5. Allen Webster, RHP
  6. Garin Cecchini, 3B
  7. Henry Owens, LHP
  8. Bryce "Bullet Riddled" Brentz, RF
  9. Blake Swihart, C
  10. Brandon Workman, RHP
  11. Jose Iglesias, SS
  12. Deven Marrero, SS
  13. Brian Johnson, LHP

You know the drill:

I'll name candidates in the comments below, and you rec the comment of the player you want to vote for. For those unfamiliar with how to go about that, just click "actions" underneath the comment and then "rec." Nice and easy, though you do have to be a member to join in.

On the off chance I forget or otherwise leave someone out, you are free to start your own voting thread for that player. I'll even give it a rec of my own to make up for your vote.

Vote away!

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