Red Sox Top Prospect Voting #17: The forgotten first-rounder

USA TODAY Sports

Who is Brian Johnson? In 2012, he was a first-round pick.

Brian Johnson may just be the game's most overlooked first-round pick. Selected 31st in the 2012 draft, Johnson has been nearly forgotten by Red Sox fans, leaving him all the way down at #16 on our top prospects list.


So, what has Johnson done to earn his lack-of-reputation? Surely he had a bad season? Well...no. Johnson has run into early injury troubles, taking a liner to the face in Futures at Fenway (essentially costing him his entire 2012 season) and then dealing with some shoulder trouble this past year. Perhaps that, combined with a slightly slow start in 2013, pushed him to the back of everyone's mind so that, when he did come back, eventually recording 80 innings of 2.70 ERA baseball between Greenville and Salem, nobody was really paying attention.

To be fair, Johnson is not perfect. He's well behind the age curve, with the combination of his injuries and an unusually hesitant placement from the Sox leaving him with no upper-levels experience at 23 years old. He also doesn't have the highest upside for a first-round pick either. His fastball is not completely overpowering, and his secondary offerings don't particularly stand out. But he's kind of a high-end model of those solid arms that teams want as many of as they can get. The type that keeps those fourth or fifth games from being a harrowing experience.

And for that, even in this stacked farm system, he probably deserves more attention than he gets.

  1. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  2. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
  3. Garin Cecchini, 3B
  4. Henry Owens, LHP
  5. Matt Barnes, RHP
  6. Blake Swihart, C
  7. Allen Webster, RHP
  8. Brandon Workman, RHP
  9. Mookie Betts, 2B
  10. Trey Ball, LHP
  11. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
  12. Christian Vazquez, C
  13. Manuel Margot, CF
  14. Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP
  15. Drake Britton, LHP
  16. Brian Johnson, LHP

By now you all know how this works: 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. As for rules, please stick to just the one vote. That's about it.

Vote away!

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