With the moves that the Milwaukee Brewers have made recently, much of the minor league focus has shifted away from their own players. With exciting talent moving in, it is easy to focus on the new players in the organization who look to be future stars.
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But even before the moves, the Brewers had plenty of talent already in their system. One player who has shined but often gets lost in the shuffle is Biloxi Shuckers starter, Hobbs Johnson, who MLB.com ranks as the 29th best player in the Brewers’ organization. While he isn’t often mentioned as a future contributor, here is a look at why he could have a future in Milwaukee.
Heading into tonight’s start, Johnson was ranked seventh in the league with a 3.35 ERA and tenth in the league with a 1.26 WHIP. Looking at all of his starts this year, he has only allowed four or more runs in 3 of his 20 starts, and never had a start where he allowed more than five runs. He has also had two starts this year where he has struck out eight batters.
Johnson mainly is a three pitch pitcher who is ideally suited for Miller Park as he consistently gets ground ball outs. With a sinking fastball and an ever improving change-up that he often uses to get batters out.
The big flaw in Johnson can be his command. When he is on, he is nearly untouchable and a strikeout machine. When he is off however, he can get into trouble. In tonight’s outing, Johnson battled through four innings of work. While he was able to strike out six in those four innings, long counts and four free base runners (including three walks and a HBP) led to an early departure. Even with all of those base runners, he left his start down just 1-0.
Before being drafted, Johnson was a big time reliever at North Carolina. While relief may be in his future again, he is showing as a starter that he has nasty stuff that should make him an effective big leaguer. Johnson may not be projected as a star, but with quality stuff, he clearly looks to have the making of a future Brewer.
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