19. Charles Johnson (11.7)
Charles Johnson was a 6’2″, 215 lb. catcher from Fort Pierce, FL. Born on July 20th, 1971, the Marlins made him their first round pick in the 1992 MLB Amateur Entry Draft, with the 28th overall choice.
Johnson didn’t appear professionally in baseball in that calendar year, making his debut in 1993 with the Kane County Cougars in the Single-A Midwest League. He hit .275/.356/.471 with 19 home runs and 94 RBI in 135 games, stealing nine bases in 10 tries.
Johnson made his major league debut with the Marlins in 1994, going five-for-11 with a double and a homer in a four game look. He spent his rookie status proper in 1995, when he slashed .251/.351/.410 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI in 97 contests. More importantly, he won his first Gold Glove behind the plate, throwing out 43 percent of base stealers and earning 12 DRS above the “average” catcher.
In 1996, Johnson won his second National League Gold Glove, throwing out 48 percent of would-be basestealers. He only made four errors and committed five passed balls in 997 innings behind the plate, gaining another 14 DRS. Offensively, he took a giant step backwards with a line of .218/.292/.358 and a 73 OPS+, with 13 homers and 37 RBI.
Johnson made his first all-star team and won his third straight Gold Glove in 1997, hitting .250/.347/.454 with 19 round-trippers and 63 RBI. He threw out 47 percent and earned a 1.000 fPCT with a career-best 19 DRS above average. He went 14-for-53 with a home run and 10 RBI in the playoffs, helping the Marlins to their first World Series Championship.
Johnson hit .221 in 31 games for Florida in 1998 before getting traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he won his fourth Gold Glove. He joined Manuel Barrios, Bobby Bonilla, Jim Eisenreich and Gary Sheffield for the quickly flipped Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile. After finishing that season, he played a year-and-a-half for the Baltimore Orioles and finished 2000 with the Chicago White Sox.
Johnson came back to the Marlins through free agency in 2001, and made his second all-star team with his efforts. In 128 contests, he hit .259/.321/.450 with 18 home runs and 75 RBI. Still just-29-years-old, Johnson threw out another 42 percent of basestealers.
In 83 injury-plagued games with the 2002 Fish, Johnson hit just .217 with six home runs and 36 RBI. In response, then-manager Jeff Torborg informed him he would likely be limited to 90 games or less in 2003. Johnson wasn’t happy, according to the Orlando Sentinel:
"For my time to get cut short is a bunch of bull. It’s not fair to me as far as my talent."
The Marlins had different plans – sending Johnson with Vic Darensbourg, Pablo Ozuna, and Preston Wilson to the Colorado Rockies for Mike Hampton and Mike Pierre. Johnson played two seasons with the Rockies and spent the 2005 season with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.