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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Pirates Select Termarr Johnson with the Fourth Overall Pick

With the fourth overall pick in the 2022 MLB draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Georgia prep second baseman Termarr Johnson.

Johnson is recognized as an elite lefty prep bat, with huge potential upside on offense. He has outstanding bat speed, bat-to-ball skills and judgement of the strike zone. He has shown the ability to handle all types of pitches, from elite velocity to off-speed pitches, lefty or righty pitchers. He received plate discipline comps to Wade Boggs from scouts. In our Draft Prospect Watch article, it was noted that his bat has received 80 grades from some scouts, and 70 grades on the low-end. He was called by some as the “best prep hitter in decades”. His power potential is 20+ homers a season, with some saying 25-30 due to his ability to barrel the ball so well (60-grade power). That power goes along with those high on base skills. His baseball intangibles (work ethic, IQ, hustle) are off-the-charts as well.

The bat will be the carrying tool here, which should be obvious when a team drafts a prep second baseman this high. That’s not a position that usually goes in the top ten picks, so that tells you how well he can hit. Another indicator of the bat upside is that his other tools all grade average. We are talking about a huge upside bat, who will play second base and has average running speed. He has a somewhat stocky build, and isn’t big at 5’10”, 175 pounds. He turned 18 years old last month.

Here’s his profile from our site. That page has three videos of Johnson.

Here’s a quote from GM Ben Cherington:

“We are thrilled to select Termarr with the No. 4 overall selection,” said Ben Cherington, Pirates General Manager. “We held true to our board and selected who we believe was the best available talent. Termarr has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order impact bat at a premium position. He possesses excellent athleticism and equally as good bat-to-ball skills, giving him the potential to join other players to make a significant, everyday impact on future winning Pirates teams.”

Here’s a video of him talking to the media

This is from Nathan Rode, who runs Prep Baseball, a site that focuses on high school ball throughout the country

Here’s our Player Page for Johnson.

+ posts

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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AdministrativeSky236

I am whelmed, ferris, prielipp, and miller were all really nice arms available at 44 still

roberto

I love it when someone uses an uncommon word. Does this mean you have spilled something or are submerged or what? I am not employing irony here.

pietraynee

For what it’s worth, Longenhagen said in his draft chat that he thinks Barco has a better chance to start than Prielipp.

Last edited 4 months ago by pietraynee
capirate

Love the Johnson pick, hoping they are saving some money somewhere for 1-2 high school pitchers with upside.

AdministrativeSky236

Was reading an article the other day that talked about how teams used to pick pitchers based on who could hit 98, but now there might be a change of trend to picking those with good command assuming teams can use exercise, technology, places like driveline, etc. to build up the stuff/velo

capirate

I was hoping they would take Johnson. If he develops as we hope, it will be fun to watch someone who can really hit and hit to all fields along with some power.

HurdOfBucs

clint hurdle sighting!

PirateRican21

So far the DBacks are running away with the draft, ours is currently sitting in the B- territory……which of course means nothing right now.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I was just thinking the same thing

jtkuch

Like the Barco pick, but I’m thinking that Johnson won’t come under slot or else they’d be taking a Prielipp/Ferris type

capirate

Or they are saving money for a later pick. This is my hope.

ravidesai1984

Second round pick Hunter Barco, left-handed pitcher from university of Florida.

Wilbur Miller

Looks to me like they’re going underslot with these picks.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Nothing sexy about these last two, but I guess that’s what comes with actually picking the upside kid at #4 as opposed to a clear underslot guy.

ArkyWags

With all of the first three picks? Or just the last two? Even if it’s the last two, would they be a lot under slot? Barco I think would be.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Probably a chance Barco will be, though likely not by much. I think he had his surgery in May, so he wouldn’t even be healthy till leading up to next draft.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Ok. Ok. Well, they went with a LHP TJS pitcher lol

ravidesai1984

I’m hoping Thomas Harrington was an under slot guy. Fangraphs had him as their 65 rated draft prospect.

kend

But most rankings had a much better than that.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Can’t imagine he’d be too cheap. He was a draft eligible Sophomore, even if from a smaller school.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Well, looks like a kid with solid control. 111 K’s and only 18 BB’s in 92.2 IP

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

BA gives him a 60 grade on Control. They also say he still has some physical projection to his frame.

Last edited 4 months ago by Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)
TNBucs

Control seems underrated by many prospect evaluators when assessing upside, so I like this.

roberto

It’s really command that you want. Can you throw the ball where you want to. I’ll butcher a quote from Warren Spahn. When asked about strike throwing, he said I throw as few as I can get away with.

PirateRican21

Just wrote something similar on his draft post!

Last edited 4 months ago by PirateRican21
1979andCounting

Harrington was a walk-on at Campbell!!! That’s enough for me to follow this kid and jump on his bandwagon. BC should have a lot of savings from this pick.

JimEastTennessee

hmmm?

agent00

well that’s disappointing

Colin

Prielipp next?

agent00

damnnn, ritchie to the braves. alright cmon porter. or snelling. or prielipp

Wilbur Miller

Ritchie gone.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

There goes one of the TJS College arms…

patrick_kelly

Comp round tomorrow?

stew

Really Stoked with this pick! From the videos, his launch angle is consistently very good.

Wilbur Miller

Just noticed Longenhagen doesn’t think Termarr signs under slot.

capirate

In his interview after being selected, he did state that he is the best player in the draft!

agent00

cmon porter. so close!

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Porter will probably be one of those Day 2 picks, like the Pirates did with Bubba last year.

PirateRican21

Texas is gonna grab him.

capirate

Texas lost two draft picks for signing Seager and Story. They might not have the budget for Porter.

agent00

that would be disappointing if the pirates passed on him

PirateRican21

One more pick….. nerves 😬

PirateRican21

By Texas I meant Arizona, of course

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I’m calling Prielipp for Pirates next pick.

PirateRican21

Por que?

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Big college arm, LHP. Already throwing again, and was a projected top pick before the injury.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

(You don’t draft for need, but they do need to add some higher upside LHP)

PirateRican21

Since you could never have enough pitching, that’s a position that you could be excused for drafting for need!

capirate

Last year the Angels were so desperate for pitching that all 20 of their draft picks were pitchers! I remember one year when the Pirates drafted mostly pitchers and commenters on here were going nuts. 😀

PirateRican21

Drew Gilbert “bros”. Standing like statues! Funny.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Dammit. Brewers taking Eric Brown. I know we took a MI, but I still wanted him.

piratemike

Watch Termarr take off once the Yanks get hold of him.

piratemike

4 down votes? Just think of the 2 relief pitchers we get back.

PirateRican21

😂

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

This has me wondering if the draft has more back room dealing than before, or if the combine is having at least some effect

roberto

You are taking a top ten pick with no deal sketched? That’s incompetent.

MD78

I like the best over slot pitcher with #36 funded by Auburn 1b Sonny D at #44 way under slot. Sonny D is a moneyball pick. The kid is huge but is a 1b with good hands (to catch the wild throws from Cruz/Peggy) and can flat out hit. He should come cheap.

tripleplay

Hate the pick!

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Tiedemann and now Barriera. Blue Jays building a stable

skliesen

So glad Padres took Lesko. I had nightmares about Cards or Brewers getting him.

Wilbur Miller

That’s not how it works. Cards take some guy who was ranked 683rd in his prep league and he goes 47-3, 1.55 for his career against the Pirates.

MD78

If Wainwright coaches him it will probably be 49-1 0.25.

Wilbur Miller

Plus, it just figures we’ll get shut out four times a year by some guy named Hjerpe.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

It’s a disease that flares up a couple times a season.

ArkyWags

If you’ve had Hjerpe for longer than four hours, please consult your physician.

piratemike

Probably picked it up from my wife.

roberto

No, go to the ED.

skliesen

Sad but true!

ravidesai1984

cardinals take a college pitcher. What’s the over/under on him becoming a top of the rotation starter and completely dominating us for the next decade.

beatembucs222

What is the wishlist at 36 looking like?

ArkyWags

Spencer Jones.

Wilbur Miller

Oops

ArkyWags

Dammit. Yanks heard me. I think any of the prep arms or TJ college arms are good options.

agent00

snelling or bust

KirkV12

If he remains unpicked (not likely) I would love to see them take Brock Porter

Wilbur Miller

I kinda figure the farther he falls, the farther he’s gonna fall.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

There should be a lot of really nice arms to pick from.

Wilbur Miller

A bunch of prep pitchers are looking suspiciously overslotty right now.

JimEastTennessee

Cincy gets a steal

agent00

collier to the reds. how interesting

AdministrativeSky236

Still scratching my head over the cubs pick

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I feel like a couple teams just REALLY love college arms. Cause all three were reaches, or late hype guys.

AdministrativeSky236

Horton’s era was like 7 in the regular season this year and he played 3B more than pitched then he got hot in the CWS… not mad that he got picked in our division because i am puzzled!

john_fluharty

John VanbenHorton ?

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Baby Bednar type rise

PirateRican21

I’m thinking that Johnson will begin his career at SS until he proves he can’t handle it. Hopefully he can!

AdministrativeSky236

I think this makes sense, no need to move him until he proves otherwise

clemo83

So, do we assume Termarr signing full slot value?

Colin

I would think so, maybe a little bit under, but not much

piratemike

If he thinks he is the best player in the draft, I can’t see him compromising

AdministrativeSky236

Unrelated, but just listened to the BA podcast and they were super down on hank davis. Said his defense has looked worse than the guys in the cape cod league and his swing looks stiff and pretty much a finished product, roughly an average at best DH and said several evaluators dont think he belongs on any top 100 anymore. Boy i hope thats a bad take…

TNBucs

That’s a huge shift based on very little playing time this year, and most of that while dealing with a sore wrist. I’m not worried yet.

ArkyWags

That sounds like some good prospect hyperbole.

PirateRican21

Let’s hope they saw him when he was struggling with his injuries. I’ve always had him pencil in as a 1b with Endy as the catcher, so the defense comments don’t bother me as much.

AdministrativeSky236

This would be fine if the bat is real!

jtkuch

Collier falling hard

jtkuch

Of course the Reds get him…

skliesen

Hope we don’t regret passing on Green.

Let’s all hope he adds another middle of the order bat to lineup in about 4 years.

chuck_conner

Green will hit 40 HR’S and bat .225. Johnson will hit 30+HR’S AND BAT .300. TAKE YOUR PICK. Green’s a monster. Hit 70 run 70 throw 70. If he can hit .250 he’ll be the best player in baseball. All depends on he swing and misses. The Pirates needed a Allstar ball player, not just a good one. Green and Johnson are the real deal. I’m glad we had a shot at both of them.

TNBucs

Woo-hoo! At intermission of a show so just got the update. Exciting!

PirateRican21

1/2 hour to the draft and I forgot all about it!!!!! WTF! Anyway, happy is Johnson, the FG analysis scared me a little, but everyone else can’t be wrong!

PirateRican21

Just checked the tracker, Kumar went 3rd overall?????

b mcferren

told you so

agent00

with johnson and davis, the leadership in the clubhouse is going to be an 80 grade

KirkV12

I was on the fence about them taking Termarr until they actually did it and I saw his interview with Lauren Gardner. He spoke with a convincing combination of humility and confidence… which almost sounds like an oxymoron, but both were there. He seemed to really see himself as the best player in the draft, but didn’t express that with any entitlement or arrogance. Really looked grateful for the opportunity and energized to work hard to prove himself. All of a sudden I love this pick, and he seems like the right kind of guy to bring into the organization. I can really envision him being a clubhouse leader as well as a terrific hitter.

piratemike

Whats with this Gardner? What happened to Hedi?

skliesen

She works for Apple now.

TNBucs

Longenhagen had made a comment today about his big personality which had me hoping he’d be our pick.

patrick_kelly

Watched this kids interview and some clips of him hitting. Man am I thrilled with this pick! Looking forward to see what they do with 36(?).

ravidesai1984

I really like what Johnson said when they interviewed him on mlb network.
“They’re getting the best player in the draft,”

KirkV12

Me too. I believed he believes it, but he also didn’t seem arrogant saying it. I liked how he said “we did it” when asked his reaction to be taken. Shows how he really sees himself as a product of not only his own hard work, but the support of his family and coaches too

ravidesai1984

It sounds like he gets it. He’s confident without being an ass about it.

Wilbur Miller

Bunch of pitchers going sooner than expected. Some teams panicked about lack of arms?

ravidesai1984

Hopefully that pushes some talented guys to us in the competitive balance round.

Wilbur Miller

I liked what I read about Jackson Ferris.

AdministrativeSky236

This is my dream for the comp round!

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

And given the ones going, I’m kind of hopeful there’s going to be a really nice upside arm at #36 . Be it prep or one of the TJS college arms.

agent00

cmon porter or barreira!

kiley says ritchie jr has been linked to the pirates. another potential option

leefieux

Wasn’t Nicky the K’s carrying tool also his bat? Didn’t he also have a sweet swing? Forgive me if I am not that excited. I loved Texas’ pick of Rocker, and would’ve loved it if we had been that bold had they not taken him.

ArkyWags

Rocker is famous more than he’s good.

jtkuch

Only thing about his pick that worries me is if it means they’ve already soured on Gonzales. Imagine if they’d taken Hassell or Veen with that pick…

leefieux

Btw, I was hoping for Veen. Once every 10 years I get one right. 🙂

robertkasperski

Nah, if nNick still develops it gives them a helleva trade chip if Cruz, Peguero and Johnson all develop too. That is what we want. A whole lot of extra really good players

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I wouldn’t read that much into it. Baseball draft/development isn’t like other leagues, and there’s a lot more variables involved than just souring on a guy in AA, when the kid you just drafted will be in Rookie Ball this year, and A ball next year.

leefieux

Rightfully so!

smenderle

This doesn’t mean they’ve soured on Gonzalez. If both players pan out, Gonzalez will be 3 to 4 years in when Johnson is ready. That would be the best time to trade Gonzalez.

Ardotcom2

That’s not really how this works when it comes the MLB draft. You just take who the best player is on the board. If they drafted Parada that would not mean they are for sure moving Davis away from catcher.

Floridabucco

Don’t forget, he is probably 4 or 5 years away from the bigs.

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