Prep Baseball Report




Carmel Catholic (HS) • IL
6' 0" • 210LBS
R/R • 26yr 1mo
Travel Team: Top Tier


2016 National

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2016 State

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6.11.16 - Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 28th round out of Carmel Catholic HS.

4.16.16 - Mississippi recruit, currently ranked No. 1 in Illinois’ 2016 class, No. 18 in PBR Draft 100 list. Muscular 6-foot, 200-pound frame, sturdy-strong build, advanced lower half, defined shoulders, strong hands/forearms. Arguably the top defensive catcher in the country, high-level draft prospect. Packed house full of pro scouts to see Johnson square off against Fellows. In first at-bat, he flew out to right field on a 91-mph fastball. He then singled to right field on an 89-mph fastball, and grounded to first base on another 89-mph fastball. In his fourth and final at-bat, facing a new pitcher, he inside-outed an 82-mph fastball through the right side, finishing 2-for-4 with all four at-bats going to the right side. As far as his defensive performance was concerned, read all the extensive past reports in his profile; nothing new to add. He’s still the top defensive backstop in prep draft class.

3.19.16 - Ole Miss commit. Currently ranked No. 1 in the Illinois Class of 2016. No 13 in the PBR Draft 100. Johnson opened his season with two games this weekend, over a dozen scouts on hand to see him. Elite level defender with plus catch and throw skills. In pregame popped 1.87-1.94. Online throws with carry, on the bag every time. Back picked two runners at first base in game. Threw out one would be base stealer on a delayed steal attempt. Soft hands receiving with extreme flexibility in the lower half. At the plate hits from a balanced setup with smooth load and fluid rhythm.  In the first game grounded into a double play, 4.61 down the line, worked a walk, singled up the middle off the pitchers glove, and hit a routine fly to right field in final plate appearance. Sees lots of pitches per at bat.

2.7.16  - Mississippi recruit. Muscular 6-foot, 200-pound frame, sturdy-strong build, advanced lower half, defined shoulders, strong hands/forearms. Arguably the top defensive catcher in the country, high-level draft prospect; only solidified his status with all-around stellar performance at Super 60. Defensively, once again separated himself from his peers. Plus arm strength, easy carry, on-line, accurate throws. Recorded event-best 85 mph from the crouch, event-best pop times of 1.80, 1.82, 1.83; stays low; highly athletic and directional footwork, gets out the chute well; short, athletic arm action. Highly flexible receiver, sits low, even Tony Pena-style at times; overall plus receiver. Offensively showed improved swing. Mechanically quiet, wider setup, short stride, fluid load; loose hands, longer path, activates lower half well, maintains balance through contact. Consistent hard contact, aggressive approach, some effort in swing, current gap power, recorded 92 mph exit velocity. Continues to improve athleticism, ran a 7.26 laser-timed 60.

8.19.15 - Selected to Team USA 18U 20 man roster.

4.16.15 - Ole Miss recruit, currently ranked No. 1 in Illinois’ 2016 class, No. 5 in overall rankings. Strong 6-foot, 200-pound frame; recently invited to participate in Under Armour All-America Game in August. Premier catch-and-throw prospect, one of the best we’ve seen in area in long time. Plus arm strength, easy carry with little effort, consistent 1.83-1.88 pop times in pregame.  … Has improved offensive game significantly in last year. Balanced, relaxed approach, creates rhythm and generates power through aggressive lower half; strong hands and forearms. In first at-bat against Coughlin, he ripped an 83-mph slider up in the zone for a two-run double to right-center field. Also struck out looking on 3-2 curveball by Coughlin, walked and grounded out.  

2.15.15 -6-foot, 200-pound right-handed hitting catcher, strong lower half, wide shoulders, developed forearms. Defensively, Johnson is the top defensive catcher in PBR’s coverage area, and quite possibly the entire country. Reeled off pop times from 1.88-1.95, 83 mph from the crouch from short, over-the-top, accurate, quick and athletic arm action. Very good hip flexibility receiving during pens, sits low, impressed handling Cal Coughlin’s 83-85 mph slider extremely well. Though a primary catcher, Johnson also impresses at third base, showing soft hands and arm strength across the diamond at 84 mph. Hits from a wide base, short stride, utilizes lower half, hands start high, load back smoothly, short power path, gets extension, simple, repeatable approach, impressed with possibly the best round of batting practice at the Preseason All-State, driving the ball from gap-to-gap; should develop power to both gaps. Current power to his pull side, 89 mph exit velocity off the tee. Ran a 7.62 in the 60, but not a concern as feet work quickly behind the plate. Johnson has elevated his national profile over the past year. The Ole’ Miss commit has always been known for his elite catch-and-throw skills, but the bat has taken a major step forward. He’ll be one of the top draft prospects in the 2016 class to follow over the next two seasons. He’s possibly the best catching prospect the PBR scouting staff has seen in ten years.

8/2/14 - Verbally committed to Mississippi shortly after his Future Games performance.

8/1/14 - Immediately following the Future Games, Johnson made his college commitment to Ole Miss, and no doubt several national powerhouses lamented due to the show he put on over the three days.  Johnson's pop times ranged between 1.79-1.94, at 81 mph from the crouch.  He showed the same ability to catch-and-throw during games, nabbing a Team Indiana runner in game three with a 2.0 time down to second.  He showed several 1.87 times between innings.  At the plate, Johnson went 2-for-7 with a double, and a barreled single, hitting several other balls hard.  He needs a little work receiving, but catching several pitchers you aren’t familiar with is no easy task for any backstop.  Johnson should see considerable MLB draft interest with his rocket arm and approach at the plate in the spring of 2015.

6/19/14 - 6-foot, 190-pound catcher currently ranked No. 6 overall in Illinois� 2016 class, No. 28 overall. Offensively, hits from an open, spread out stance hands start back and stay quiet through load. Shows quick hands with short level swing getting extension in swing and producing 88 mph exit velocity with occasional lift. Defensively, impressed with the top pop times at the Top Prospect Showcase at 1.84-1.90. Occasionally got tall receiving pop times to second, but shows impressive quickness with feet and transfer from glove to hand. Throws were online, high at times, but firm with accuracy, strong arm at 80 mph from the crouch. Johnson will be one of the top catching recruits in the Midwest for the 2016 class.

4/5/14 - Ranked No. 6 in Illinois’ 2016 class and 37 overall. Hits cleanup for team. Top-level catch-and-throw backstop but is DH’ing, as senior starter Ian Kristan is committed to Bradley and Johnson is coming off injury. Confident, relaxed plate approach; aggressive lower half, doesn’t get cheated in at-bats, bat speed present.  Delivered two-run double to left-centerfield, then followed with a sacrifice bunt. Walked and grounded to short in other at-bats. Finished 1-for-2 with two runs and two RBI.

1.19.14 - Among a talented crop of catchers in Illinois’ 2016 class, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Johnson may have distinguished himself as the top catch-and-throw backstop, and should quickly become one of the most coveted prospects in the Midwest. That fact became abundantly clear at the Illinois Underclass Invitational when Johnson broke the five-year event record by firing a 1.84 pop time. And that number was not an aberration. His other four throws were 1.87, 1.90, 1.93, 1.93. Those numbers were achieved without embellishment, meaning he stayed low until he received the ball. From the crouch, Johnson was clocked at 81 mph. Johnson continued to impress during bullpens, as he handles everything thrown his way with ease and maturity beyond his years. He has a durable frame and moves well laterally from the crouch. Johnson also showed his versatility at third base, displaying reliable hands, a quick transfer and carry across the infield. Offensively, Johnson hits from a balanced setup, shows good rhythm and quiet overall mechanics. Bat speed is present, 85-mph exit velocity, gets excellent extension after contact, maintains balance throughout.

3/11/12 Johnson is a 5-foot-6, 155-pound two-way player who showed soft hands at every position.  He demonstrated fluid footwork behind the dish and at third base.  Johnson had a best pop time of 2.3 and was clocked at 70 mph from the crouch.  At the plate, Johnson has an aggressive approach  and takes an economical approach to the baseball.

On the mound, the 5-foot-3, 160-pound right-hander came from a high 3/4 arm slot with good rhythm. Johnson's fastball sat at 65-66 mph and topped at 67 mph. Johnson showed some feel for his change that flashed downward arm side movement. He also flashed a curveball with 12/6 shape and tight spin. At the plate, Johnson showed a level swing with some bat speed, and in the field he displayed soft hands and a solid arm across the infield.

5/21/19 Hitting in the 7 hole, Johnson set his hands high in his approach at the plate with a leg kick approach. Did a nice job with the weight transfer in the swing and appeared to hunt the FB (out in front of some breaking balls). The hands and the barrel showed thunder through the zone. Showed a middle of the field approach on a line drive 1B to RCF on a fastball away. Defensively, the tools are plus! No attempted stolen bases versus him but he was 1.8’s all day between innings. Makes it look easy with throws on the bag. Loved him receiving balls down in the zone and showed big time quickness with the feet on balls in the dirt in and out. Plus flexibility in the hips. Was everywhere he was supposed to be on the field and love the make up of this guy. (Sharp)

8/8/186’0, 210 pounds. Strong frame with athletic actions behind the plate. Johnson’s arm was one of the most impressive tools on the Cape this summer. Routinely had pop times in the 1.90 – 2.00 range in pre-game and between innings with minimal effort. On one particular throw in-game, reached across his body into the left-handed batters box and fired a strike to second base from his knees at 1.85. Receiving skills and offensive ability still need some work but the arm talent will always been Johnson’s calling card. (D Jurik)

3/20/18: Showed plus plus arm strength with a 2.00 POP time to 2B. He blocked balls in the dirt with a flair for the dramatic. His bat remains a work in progress, although he did barrel a ball in a pitch location that I have never seen him barrel before. In my eyes, there has been some improvement, although questions do remain about his hit ability. (Seifert)

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