SHERMAN JOHNSON, SECOND BASEMAN
Born: July 15, 1990
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 190
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Drafted: 14th Round, 447th Overall, 2012 (Angels)
How Acquired: Minor league free agent
College: Florida State University
Agents: N/A

WTM’s PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Johnson has spent his career mainly as an upper level depth infielder.  His main position has been second, but he’s also played a lot at third and a little in the outfield.  He’s started 52 games at short in eight minor league seasons.  That probably indicates his defense isn’t outstanding, but he seems to be solid at second.  He’s never gotten on the prospect track, reaching the majors only for the last two weeks of the 2018 season when the Angels had an injury opening.  During his time in the minors he hasn’t hit with much authority, although he’s drawn a lot of walks.  He’s mostly struggled against LHPs.  Johnson stole a good number of bases earlier in his career, but not so many recently.  The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2020.

2012
R+:  269/427/407, 182 AB, 12 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 49 BB, 40 K, 8-9 SB

The Angels sent Johnson to advanced rookie ball, where he played second.  He hit reasonably well and drew a huge number of walks.

2013
A:  261/371/372, 398 AB, 20 2B, 6 3B, 4 HR, 66 BB, 87 K, 14-18 SB
A+:  308/367/500, 26 AB, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 BB, 5 K

Except for a promotion to high A near season’s end, Johnson spent the year playing third in low A.  He saw just a little time at second and in the outfield.  He hit about the same as the year before, with a little less power and slightly fewer walks.

2014
A+:  276/382/465, 529 AB, 23 2B, 13 3B, 17 HR, 88 BB, 104 K, 26-38 SB

Johnson spent the season in high A.  He primarily played second, but also spent some time at third and short.  He had good numbers at the plate, with much more power and a continued high walk rate.  It was in the offense-crazy California League, though, so the numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt.

2015
AA:  204/325/314, 490 AB, 29 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 89 BB, 102 K, 20-23 SB

Johnson moved up to AA, where he struggled at the plate.  He played mostly at second.

2016
AA:  369/481/677, 65 AB, 4 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 14 BB, 13 K, 2-3 SB
AAA:  226/332/345, 394 AB, 17 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 60 BB, 85 K, 16-19 SB

The Angels sent Johnson to AA to start the season, but promoted him to AAA at the beginning of May.  He continued to struggle there, still doing little beyond drawing a lot of walks, despite the high-offense environment in the Pacific Coast League.  He mostly played second at both levels.

2017
AA:  296/392/407, 108 AB, 6 2B, 2 HR, 15 BB, 22 K, 2-3 SB
AAA:  244/356/348, 287 AB, 15 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 48 BB, 66 K, 12-16 SB

Johnson spent the year in AAA, except for a little over a month in AA at mid-season.  His hitting improved just a little in AAA.  He played all the infield positions and also played left, but his most frequent position was first.

2018
AA:  194/316/299, 67 AB, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 11 BB, 17 K, 1-3 SB
AAA:  277/359/459, 148 AB, 7 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 20 BB, 47 K, 2-2 SB
MLB:  000/091/000, 10 AB, 4 K

Johnson opened the season in AAA and got off to a good start, but he missed most of April and May with injuries.  The Angels eventually sent him to AA for about a month.  In mid-September, they called him up to fill an injury opening.  After the season they removed him from the roster and he became a free agent.

2019
AAA:  241/353/355, 203 AB, 9 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 34 BB, 55 K, 4-8 SB

Johnson signed with the Reds and played him semi-regularly at second base in AAA.  He hit as he had most of his career despite the explosion in offense in AAA.  The Reds released him at the end of July.

The Pirates have a lot of upper level infielders, so it’s hard to see how Johnson will get much playing time.  He could spend time in both AAA and AA.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2020: Minor league salary
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2012
MLB Debut: 9/19/2018
MiLB FA Eligible: 2020
MLB FA Eligible: 2025
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: September 18, 2018 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.013
TRANSACTIONS
June 6, 2012: Drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 14th round, 447th overall pick; signed on June 26.
September 18, 2018: Contract purchased by the Los Angeles Angels.
November 1, 2018: Outrighted to AAA by the Los Angeles Angels; elected free agency on November 2.
February 7, 2019: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Cincinnati Reds.
July 31, 2019: Released by the Cincinnati Reds.
February 28, 2020: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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