TERMARR JOHNSON, SHORTSTOP
Drafted: 1st Round, 4th Overall, 2022
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Mays HS, Atlanta, GA
Agent: Brodie Van Wagenen
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Johnson was regarded by many as the best prep hitter in many years. He didn’t play against good competition in high school, but he did very well on the showcase circuit. He gets an 80 grade for his hit tool from some scouts and doesn’t struggle with breaking balls or with good velocity. His approach at the plate is very advanced, and he has enough bat speed and ability to barrel the ball that he could hit for good power. Defensively, his hands are good, but scouts consider his range and arm just average, so he’s likely in the long run to move to second. His speed is average. There’s some question about his height, which may be more like 5’8″, but his hitting ability impressed observers so much that his size didn’t concern many people. In fact, to some observers he could have been the top pick in the draft. He was frequently associated with the Pirates. Johnson was rated somewhere in the top four or five by just about everybody, so he was never likely to sign below slot. In the event, he signed for $7,219,000, a little above the slot of $7,005,800. Johnson had a commitment to Arizona State.
Johnson got into nine games at the end of the FCL season, then moved up to Bradenton for 14 more. He played mostly short in the FCL and mostly second at Bradenton. He got off to a slow start at the plate, but started to hit shortly after he got to full season ball. In his last ten games, he went 10-for-27. Johnson obviously showed plenty of patience, although he had some problems with offspeed stuff. He had a lot of loud outs; his exit velocity was in the 90th percentile. Johnson played well defensively and committed just one error. Whether he’ll stay at short will be a long-term question for the Pirates to address.
Johnson’s debut numbers weren’t eye-popping, but he hit very well in his first shot at full season ball when he was barely 18. There were a lot of long drives caught on the warning track that might not be caught when he’s just a little older. So far, the Pirates have good reason to be happy with the selection.