With about ten weeks left before the first day of the 2022 MLB draft, we are finally starting to feel like the draft is getting close. We still have plenty of time to look at top draft options for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who select fourth overall. A lot could change between now and then, so we will look at all of the players who rank around where the Pirates select. We recently started our Draft Prospect Watch articles, where we look at a new player each Sunday. Our first choice was Druw Jones. The next Sunday we looked at Elijah Green. That was followed by Jackson Holliday, who moved up some draft charts recently. Today we go with a player who has been on the radar all season for the fourth overall pick.
Termarr Johnson is a high school shortstop out of Georgia. Most sources already call him a second baseman, so keep that in mind when you read about the tools and see their ratings. Keith Law just recently posted a draft update with Johnson rated third overall. We posted about recent draft prospect rankings here and here. Johnson rated fourth for Baseball America, second for ESPN (Kiley McDaniel) and third for MLB Pipeline. Basically, he is someone who you should be paying attention to right now.
Johnson is not big by baseball standards. He is listed at 5’10”, 175 pounds by Pipeline (see below), and he hits from the left side. He will turn 18 on June 11th, which makes him a bit younger for the draft class (he would have been 17 for a few days under the old draft dates). His carrying tool is his bat. Pipeline rates him as an average defender with average speed, but he gets a 70 rating for the bat, and a 60 rating for the power. Their praise of his bat was very high, saying that he might be the best pure hitter from the prep ranks in decades. Even higher praise came from one scout compared his plate discipline to Wade Boggs, and multiple evaluators told Pipeline that they have 80 grade numbers on his bat. He’s an elite contact hitter, who has shown the ability to handle velocity and off-speed pitches well. He makes a lot of hard contact and has excellent bat speed, meaning he’s not only going to be a high OBP player, there is 25-30 home run potential.
BA lists Johnson at 5’8″, 194 pounds, which is quite different from the Pipeline listing, though they acknowledged that 5’10” might be a stretch. BA says that he has an incredible feel for hitting and a lightning quick bat. The praise his bat-to-ball skills, strike zone awareness, pitch recognition skills and his surprising power given his size. They also compliment his hitting against velocity and advanced off-speed pitches. Basically, he checks all of the boxes for hitting. They call his other tools (defense/arm/speed) average, but the bat is rated so high that he’s going to go off of the board early in this draft class.
That right there tells you why a high school second baseman with average speed/defense is rated so high in this draft class. On top of all that, Johnson is one of the best students in his class and he also plays travel ball in addition to his high school team, making him a high IQ player with dedication to the game. He’s also ready to go pro, with no college commitment at this time.
Here are some videos:
The first is some fielding and then batting practice, with three angles of the same swings
Here’s a similar video, though you see him playing second base during fielding drills
Here’s some game action
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) March 30, 2022
one last one with some fielding, a game AB and batting practice
MLB Draft Rankings Top 200 Update.
Termarr Johnson will go off the board quickly.
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) March 14, 2022