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
— DK Pittsburgh Sports (@DKPghSports) July 18, 2022
This is from Nathan Rode, who runs Prep Baseball, a site that focuses on high school ball throughout the country
#Pirates get the best pure hitter in the class, best HS bat we've seen in a long time. He absolutely controls every at-bat. No. 1 on our board. Aside from the talent, it's a joy to watch the energy he brings to the field everyday. #mlbdraft
— Nathan Rode (@NathanRode) July 17, 2022
Here’s our Player Page for Johnson.
Primed and ready to go.
— MLB (@MLB) July 18, 2022
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.