Baseball

Bucs’ top prospect Johnson logs big day at the dish

Earlier than Friday, the top Pirates prospect had one four-hit effort, one multihomer recreation and one four-RBI efficiency to his identify, all achieved in numerous video games. Now, the 19-year-old has two of every, and he achieved all three feats on the identical night time.

Johnson went deep in his first at-bat of the sport and his final, gathering two bunt singles in between as he reached base 5 occasions and totaled a career-best 10 bases in Single-A Bradenton’s 8-6 victory over Dunedin.

“It was vital to go on the market and begin the second half with a staff win,” Johnson stated. “I simply attempt to hit the ball onerous proper to the center of the sphere the place it got here from. I’m simply making an attempt to stick with that strategy and keep per it.”

After slugging simply seven homers via his first 58 video games, MLB’s No. 27 overall prospect has left the yard 3 times up to now three contests, relationship again to earlier than the All-Star break on July 8.

Johnson’s strategy to the plate is straightforward: Hit the ball onerous. It labored fairly effectively within the second body, when the left-hander demolished a 2-2 providing from Blue Jays righty Rafael Ohashi for a two-run homer to right-center discipline.

He confronted Ohashi once more within the fifth, this time electing to drop down a bunt to succeed in base with a runner on first and his staff down a run. He positioned it completely down the third-base line, and a wild pitch and a groundout introduced within the tying run for the Marauders.

“I used to be simply making an attempt to do no matter I needed to to assist the staff win,” Johnson stated.

Small ball was profitable the primary time, so when Bradenton fell behind by a run once more main into the seventh body, Johnson was eager on sticking with what labored. With the go-ahead run at third base and two down, the Georgia native made the savvy choice to drop down one other bunt, scoring teammate Geovanny Planchart and advancing to second on an errant throw from the catcher.

Johnson made certain to supply his staff some insurance coverage two frames later, crushing his second dinger of the day to right-center on a 2-0 rely off righty Al Pesto. The second baseman went into the at-bat wanting to offer reliever Elijah Birdsong a bit extra of a cushion.

“It was 7-to-6, backside of the eighth, I simply wished my nearer to have extra confidence going out,” Johnson stated. “Simply wished to get the ball rolling, get a two-out rally going, get on base and hopefully get yet one more run throughout so we might be extra snug getting the win.”

Taken fourth general by the Pirates within the 2022 MLB Draft, Johnson got here with a substantial quantity of hype. Although the numbers don’t but soar off the web page with solely 84 professional video games underneath his belt, Johnson is aware of learn how to keep mentally robust. To him, enhancing as a ballplayer means being team-first, it doesn’t matter what.

“I’m simply making an attempt to ensure I assist get as many wins as I can,” Johnson stated. “Play the perfect recreation that I can, be the perfect teammate, be the perfect chief on the market. If I try this for my staff, I really feel like I’ll be on the great facet of issues.”


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Printed : 2023-07-15 02:56:35

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