Throughout the 2018 season, we’ll be keeping an eye on the farm system with daily reports. Today’s prospect, Osiris Johnson, was a second round pick for the Miami Marlins last month.
Johnson is just 17-years-old, and won’t turn 18 until October. I’ve done the math with this guy. Even if he spends a full season at every level of the minors, he’ll still be only 23 through his Miami Marlins rookie season of 2024. There’s nothing saying that he won’t progress faster.
Johnson joined the GCL Marlins after getting picked 53rd overall and signing for his slot value, $1,318,500, giving up his commitment to Cal State-Fullerton. There’s not much to judge him on in his professional career so far, with only 47 plate appearances in 11 games. He struggles with pitch selection, with only one walk thus far at the rookie level. He’s also struck out 10 times, just over 21% of the time. He’s reached base in eight of those games, with multiple hits in three. In yesterday’s 11-5 victory over the GCL Nationals, he was four-for-six with a double, a homer, three runs, three RBI, and a stolen base.
Johnson’s father, Marcel, played three seasons between the minor league systems of the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets. A 6′, 181 lb. shortstop from Alameda, CA, the right-hander also owns a major league pedigree. He’s second-cousins with former major leaguer Jimmy Rollins.
Johnson played high school ball for Encinal High School, hitting .403 with 12 home runs in 92 prep level contests. He raised his average by a wide margin in each season, from .218 as a freshman, to .346 as a sophomore, to .481 as a junior. As a senior, he hit .535, going 46-for-86 with 23 extra base hits. With the GCL Marlins, he’s slashing .261/.271/.391.
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Johnson is also well equipped to play in center field, but advancements in his defense have cemented his spot as a future major league shortstop.
"He has immensely quick hands that allow him to react to late hops and he has enough arm strength for the position as well. – baseballamerica.com"
Johnson should remain at the GCL level for the remainder of the season. It’s possible with a strong finish that he skips short-season A ball next year and starts instead with the Greensboro Grasshoppers. That’s all conjecture, though, we’ll really just have to wait and see.
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