Angels, Rangers, Red Sox Scouting Josh Johnson

9:42pm: Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com adds that Angels pro scouting director Hal Morris was also present for Johnson's start tonight (Twitter link). Johnson fired a gem, allowing just one hit and striking out nine hitters in six innings. Johnson did leave the start early with what he told reporters (including MLB.com's Joe Frisaro) was a cut near his fingernail. He's expected to make his next start.

7:25pm: The Rangers also have a scout in attendance to watch Johnson's start this evening, tweets Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

7:00pm: The Marlins have already traded one starting pitcher (and their second baseman) today, and the Red Sox are hopeful they'll consider moving another. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are scouting Josh Johnson (Twitter link). No deal is close, according to Cafardo.

Johnson, 28, has struggled in 2012, pitching to a 4.35 ERA in 113 2/3 innings. Johnson has a 7.6 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, and 46.5% groundball rate. Both FIP (3.13) and SIERA (3.79) suggest that Johnson has been the victim of some poor luck. The right-hander is in the third year of a four-year, $39MM contract he signed in January of 2010. He's making $13.75MM this season and will be paid the same salary in 2013.

The Red Sox were said to be pursuing Ryan Dempster aggressively at one point, but Boston reportedly turned its interest to Matt Garza. They've also reportedly had internal discussions surrounding Francisco Liriano. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith recently ran down some other potentially available starters.


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120 Comments on "Angels, Rangers, Red Sox Scouting Josh Johnson"


3 years 1 month ago

Bad luck, he will fit right in with the Sox

BrocNessMonster
3 years 1 month ago

I’d rather the Dodgers chase him over Garza.

Kyle Hamilton
3 years 1 month ago

trade WMB/prospects in a package for JJ and HanRam and call it a deadline. WMB high K and low BB rate suggest we should sell while he’s young.

go_jays_go
3 years 1 month ago

WMB’s value lies with Boston. He hits very well at home, but not nearly as well on the road. Just like Youkilis.

But the Red Sox need the cost savings associated with WMB, so I’m sure he will stay put for at least another few years.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Half a season’s worth of home/road splits is no where near enough sample to draw any conclusions from.

Crucisnh
3 years 1 month ago

Probably true, MS, but he is right about how the Sox can definitely use the cost savings from having a youngster at 3B.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Definitely.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

I wouldn’t trade WMB for JJ and Hanley straight up at this point.

Kyle Hamilton
3 years 1 month ago

thank god you aren’t the GM then. Xander Bogaerts is destined for 3B.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

JJ and Hanley have both been struggling and had injuries, and both are getting expensive and only under control for two more years. Middlebrooks is cheap, under control for 6 more years, and playing better than Hanley has in 2 years.

Painting_the_black
3 years 1 month ago

He’s a SS

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Right now he is, but he’s going to end up at either 3B of OF.

Painting_the_black
3 years 1 month ago

Ok coach

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Literally every scouting organization says that the move is only a matter of time (Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, Keith Law, Sox Prospects, Marc Hulet, Mike Newman, Mark Anderson – all of them).

Painting_the_black
3 years 1 month ago

Then he wont be playing in the majors for the RS anytime soon unless he likes the outfield. He projects to be an average defensive 3B

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

He’s not going to be playing in the major for anyone anytime soon (he’s 19 and in A ball), but no one actually knows how he’ll be at 3B until he actually plays there, but he has the athleticism and arm to be above average there (and even if you were right about him projecting to be average at 3B that’s pretty indicative of him not being able to stick at SS). His bat is truly special though and is good enough to play anywhere in the field, so when he’s ready they’ll make room for him at whatever position he ends up at (Middlebrooks certainly isn’t going to block him once he’s ready if it’s at 3B).

Painting_the_black
3 years 1 month ago

Really? Middlebrooks will certainly block him. Did you not read his scouting report either after quoting all those cute reporters:

Moves very well at third base. Good agility and reactions to both sides. Can cut in front of the shortstop to make plays without much effort. Has very good hands and good fundamentals in every phase of his defensive game. A true asset at the hot corner. Uses his athleticism and size to his advantage. Could be a potential Gold Glove caliber defender once he settles in at the big league level.

XB is proposed to move from SS (the only position he has ever known) because they project him to grow too large to maintain his agility at the position (which he disagrees with and continues to push to stay at SS)

I think my overall point is that I agree that XB wont be here for years and that trading WMB is pure stupidity which was what was originally proposed here

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Cute reporters? You mean professional scouts who are paid to know these things about players? Even if Bogaerts isn’t as good as Middlebrooks defensively his bat is going to be so much better that it wont even be a question who to play when the time comes.

No one in the entire system has as much offensive potential as Bogaerts and he wont be blocked by anyone no matter what position he ends up at.

Painting_the_black
3 years 1 month ago

Tell that to Lars Anderson

Once again Middlebrooks projects to hit just as well and is considered to be a future all-star. So despite your obvious boner for XB and my agreement that he has potential to be great, if WMB is hitting .290 and putting up 30 HR 90 RBI every season then you are just wrong. He will absolutely be blocked. Get back to me in 4 years if Bogaerts hasn’t been traded and we’ll see who’s playing 3B

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Middlebrooks does not project to hit just as well. Not even close.

You’re the one who told me to read a scouting report; have you ever actually read one yourself? Xander has more potential than anyone to come through the Red Sox system since Hanley. He has legitimate superstar potential. There’s a reason he was ranked as high as #11 on the recent top prospect lists (Middlebrooks barely cracked the top 50), and there’s a reason he’s talked about as a potential top 10 for next year.

Painting_the_black
3 years 1 month ago

Middlebrooks was rated the best batting prospect in the Eastern League last year and was the Red Sox #1 prospect overall going in to 2012

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/organization-top-10-prospects/2012/2612769.html

I’m done arguing. You are just wrong!

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

I don’t care about any of those things. He doesn’t have anywhere near the ceiling that Bogaerts does, and it only takes a few seconds worth of reading scouting reports to figure that out.

If you don’t want to read scouting reports and figure it out yourself, go ask some of the scouting guys on twitter or in one of the chats they have, they’ll tell you the same thing. It really is the consensus at this point.

Painting_the_black
3 years 1 month ago

Oh I see, so when I show you the scouting report from one of the places YOU referenced that disagrees with you, then you dont care. Ok buddy. Go tweet somebody who falls for your conjecture.

And a consensus between minor league talent scouts is like a consensus between weathermen. 60% chance of rain

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

You quoted one part about Middlebrooks’ defense, nothing about his offense, and nothing about Bogaerts at all. Telling me Middlebrooks plays good defense doesn’t make him better than Bogaerts (and isn’t telling me anything I don’t already know).

You are seriously the only person I have ever even heard imply that Middlebrooks might have more potential. It’s seriously not even a question among anyone who actually follows this stuff.

Go over to Soxprospects dot com and ask anyone over there which one has a higher ceiling. Ask Chris Mellen on twitter. Ask any of the national prospect guys. Seriously, go ask. Unless you can tell better from your living room (likely never even having seen Bogaerts play, and surely not having any scouting experience) I don’t really see how you can just say that they all (every one of them) are wrong.

Painting_the_black
3 years 1 month ago

I just gave you the link of baseballamerica placing WMB ahead of XB as the #1 prospect in the RS organization but here are the scouting reports:

Xander Bogaerts
Hit: Quiet, balanced swing. Lower half has little movement and says in line and on balance throughout. Head doesn’t move through swing. Plus-plus bat speed with outstanding plate coverage. Can make contact on a variety of pitches. Struggles with quality breaking balls but can foul them off rather than swing through. Hands work well and he controls the barrel even when gearing up for power. Potential average to slightly above-average hitter long term. Grade – 30/50
Power: Outstanding bat speed. Can really drive the FB and can drive secondary pitches when he barrels them. Bat stays in zone a long time and has good loft in swing. Easy plus in-game power projection and true plus-plus raw power that could all translate to the game. Chance to hit 30+ home runs at his peak. Grade (raw power) – 60/70

Will Middlebrooks
Hit: Believes he can hit everything. Has a tendency to expand his zone and chase pitches but has shown improvement in this area the last two years. Plus or better bat speed, good hands and a natural feel for contact give him some hitting projection. Starts with a bit of a “pre-load,” on his back leg, which has helped him stay back more consistently and keep his timing. Still susceptible to breaking balls out of the zone, and may always be. Has potential to hit .275-.280 at his peak, though he could be prone to elongated cold streaks because of his aggressive approach to at-bats. Grade – 40/50
Power: Very natural power that comes from both his natural physical strength and his very good bat speed. Trusts his hands and can drive the ball out of the park to the opposite field. Still learning when and how to turn on pitches on the inner half to maximize the power in his bat. Really started translating power to game situations last year, driving the ball with regularity. Potential for 25+ home runs with occasional seasons where he runs into even more than that. True power profile of a classic third baseman. I’ve toyed with 70 long term power from him, but will remain more conservative in this report. Grade (raw power) – 60/60

And for christsake Bogaerts plays in Single A nobody watchs him play and WMB is putting up ROY numbers in the MLB. Nobody is arguing that XB isnt a good prospect but you are a terrible judge of baseball talent if you think Will Middlebrooks is not a future all-star. I played for 15 years, those who cant do scout so no I dont believe everything they say and no I wont go waste my time twittering them. Now please go away.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Prospect ranking isn’t all about who has the most potential, it also takes into consideration proximity to the majors, so that fact that one is ranked higher doesn’t necessarily mean he has more potential. Boagerts has a ton more potential than Middlebrooks. (and if you still want to use rankings: John Sickels, Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus, and Keith Law all had Bogaerts as the Red Sox #1 prospect coming into the season, and with the exception of Fangraphs [who had him #2] they all had WMB at #3)

From that very site that you are quoting (Baseball Prospect Nation):

WMB: Could be an occasional All-Star throughout peak seasons.

Bogaerts: Potential perennial All-Star with big time offensive numbers.

So one could make a couple of All-Star teams in his peak and the other has the potential to be a perennial All-Star (perennial meaning every year, and no mention of just in his peak seasons). That right there tells you that he think Bogaerts has the higher potential.

Also, just for fun:

Middlebrooks in high A as a 21yo: .275/.328/.438 .345 wOBA

Bogaerts in high A as a 19yo: .284/.359/.468 .368 wOBA

Crucisnh
3 years 1 month ago

Exactly, MaineSox. I have no interest in Hanley. And I find it annoying seeing Sox fans ignorantly talking about trading WMB, particularly after the team has already traded away Youkilis. It’s not like good 3B-men grow on trees.

Kyle Hamilton
3 years 1 month ago

Except our #1 prospect and Hanley………………..yeah

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Hanley hasn’t exactly been a good 3B. His defense has been poor there so far and he’s been a league average hitter for two years now.

3 years 1 month ago

I’ll prefer him over dempster or garza. He’s a little injury prone, so reed, eovaldi, withdrow and an outfield prospect. Should of kept trya’von he could of been thrown in.

Devern Hansack
3 years 1 month ago

The Red Sox have just a nine percent chance at the division; they should not mortgage the future for the slim chance that they get a non-play-in berth.

3 years 1 month ago

jj is signed through 2013. so even if you are out of it now, you can still have him next year. personally I don’t want to see him traded.

LazerTown
3 years 1 month ago

Especially after the year he is having it would be selling low. Unless they offer a good package I think they should keep him. He has the potential to be a very dominant pitcher and unless they get a big haul, they should risk that he returns to form. Same thing as with lester, the sox wouldn’t sell low on him now.

DerekJeterDan
3 years 1 month ago

He’s throwing the ball well tonight. If they have scouts on hand they will receive good reports. Through 14 recorded outs, Johnson already has 8 strikeouts tonight.

LazerTown
3 years 1 month ago

He has always been a very good pitcher. He has just never been able to stay healthy. If he could have been healthy he would have been one of the top pitchers in the league.

Rashomon
3 years 1 month ago

If the Twins could move Morneau without eating some of that 14 million he’s due, I would love it if they turn around and get Johnson.

LazerTown
3 years 1 month ago

But in reality, who would take on morneau unless he fully recovers? Don’t think that Johnson would be worth it. I think they still have too many holes to plug this offseason too, that they are probably out of it next year too. No point trading for JJ if they won’t be competing, give the young guys a shot.

Rashomon
3 years 1 month ago

Couldn’t we hire Tony Kornheiser to call his friends in Canada and broker a deal? We have their Votto alternative in Justin.

elscorcho the marlin
3 years 1 month ago

he’s one that i would hate to see go. depends on how much they throw at the marlins though.

Karkat
3 years 1 month ago

start ALL the struggling aces

iamsynecdoche
3 years 1 month ago

As a fan, I really think the Red Sox should sell. They might be mathematically in the picture but so are an awful lot of teams and I don’t see them surging down the stretch and really having a chance of contending against the other teams in the hunt. Plus, they could probably stand to rebuild a somewhat depleted farm system, especially with the market being so high already. Johnson will cost more than he’s worth and the last thing the Sox need is an injury-prone pitcher.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

I could see an argument for not buying, but with everyone struggling this year you would be selling low on everyone if you decided to sell right now.

Lunchbox45
3 years 1 month ago

still less than 4 games back to. its not worth it to sell low

LazerTown
3 years 1 month ago

It is scary when Aaron Cook has been their best starter. I think they need to retool in the offseason, not have a firesale. They have too many big contracts to not be in contention. They get rid of daisuke this year, Bailey and Lackey should be back; and for them hopefully Agon returns to form.

M.Kit
3 years 1 month ago

Josh Johnson is controlled through 2013, so he would be around next year as well. He wouldn’t be a rental player

iamsynecdoche
3 years 1 month ago

Still don’t like it. He’s too injury prone and that’s been a big part of the Sox’ problem this season. Plus, that extra year will end up costing them more. They don’t necessarily need to have a fire sale but I don’t think they should be making any significant acquisitions.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

If they’re going to add a pitcher it should be someone like JJ though, he’s under control for next year, so you can get a couple of draft picks when he leaves, and he’s a legitimate ace whose value is at a low point, so you take a chance on catching lightning in a bottle at a (relatively) low cost.

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 1 month ago

Marlins should deal JJ to the Rangers for Olt and Martin and then trade Hanley to the Red Sox for a package based around Jackie Bradley. That would make this guy very happy.

elscorcho the marlin
3 years 1 month ago

isn’t it too early too tell with jackie bradley?

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 1 month ago

Ehh maybe but I really like what he brings to the table offensively. Plus he’s solid in CF. I really like him a lot.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Not really, he’s in AA already and projected to be in the majors by the middle of next season.

Crucisnh
3 years 1 month ago

Absolutely uninterested in any deal that sends JBJr to the Marlins in exchange for Hanley.

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 1 month ago

From which side?

Phillies_Aces35
3 years 1 month ago

Red Sox most likely. JBJr is the heir to Ellsbury if he pans out.

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 1 month ago

Yeah that would be my guess. Not sure why a Marlins fan wouldn’t like that.

Crucisnh
3 years 1 month ago

Exactly.

Crucisnh
3 years 1 month ago

Red Sox side. Like PA35 mentioned, JBJr is the heir apparent to Ellsbury, and is rated as one of the Sox top 3 prospects. The Sox are going to have need of JBJr either in 2013 or 2014 when Ellsbury leaves for greener pastures.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Neither of those trades are ever going to happen. (your name is fitting by the way)

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 1 month ago

The JJ one is the most realistic. The H2R one was more of my hopes and dreams.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

I highly doubt the Rangers give up Olt for JJ.

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 1 month ago

I think they would. They realize their window is now and JJ will give them an even better chance to win now. And the fact that he is under team control for another year makes him more valuable than Hamels(who I think stays in PHI) and Greinke.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

With his rising salary, injury history, and lack of results this season I just don’t see him being worth that kind of prospect. If they can get him, more power to them (I grew up a Sea Dogs fan when they were a Marlins affiliate, so the Marlins have always been my second favorite team), I just don’t see it happening.

Jonathan Rigby
3 years 1 month ago

not a chance…and we have a large window

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 1 month ago

Yes, there is a chance. And the window could get a little smaller if Hamilton leaves in the offseason. Why not trade your #2 prospect for an ace to go for it this year? One of the Rangers writers even said he’d trade Olt and a pitching prospect for JJ because he’s under contract for another year.

elscorcho the marlin
3 years 1 month ago

rosenthal threw out there the idea of hanley to oakland. that might be interesting.

melonis_rex
3 years 1 month ago

yes, yes it could. although the defense scares me.

LazerTown
3 years 1 month ago

More than Inge’s bat?

melonis_rex
3 years 1 month ago

no.

I was thinking Hanley at SS, and should have specified that. (which is worse for the A’s than 3B right now). obviously he’d be a better fit at 3B though so you’re right.

LazerTown
3 years 1 month ago

More than Pennington’s bat? ………wait……….whoever becomes the shortstop when a .197 hitter goes on the dl.

melonis_rex
3 years 1 month ago

yeah, you’re right again.

edit: although the a’s pitching staff is loaded with contact pitchers. which means defense is a huge deal.

i’m not against hanley on the A’s, btw.

3 years 1 month ago

3 way team deal between Sox, Marlins and Mariners. Calling it.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

How do the Mariners fit in?

LazerTown
3 years 1 month ago

“Marlins receive Walker and Hultzen from the Mariners, while the Mariners agree to aquire Carl Crawford from the Red sox, the Sox will acquire Josh Johnson.

3 years 1 month ago

They might as well the Braves must be scouting him tonight cause they sure as hell ain’t hitting him

rsanchez1
3 years 1 month ago

Josh Johnson has been pulled from tonight’s game.

Karkat
3 years 1 month ago

Maybe they wanted to stop him while his trade value still looked good? Just please not Boston…

rsanchez1
3 years 1 month ago

Word out of the clubhouse is he was pulled over skin irritation on his hand.

Karkat
3 years 1 month ago

Phew. Last thing we need is Ben making desperation trades.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

If they are going to make a trade, this is one that makes sense. They would have JJ for next year too, and they would be able to get draft compensation when he leaves, and you would be buying low on a guy who is one of the best in the game when he’s on.

M.Kit
3 years 1 month ago

Heard it was a cut along his finger, nothing serious

PDR297
3 years 1 month ago

JJ pulled in a 2-0 game after 87 pitches. He’s either hurt or on the move.

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 1 month ago

“Josh Johnson left game for precautionary reasons with a skin irritation on right middle finger; expected to make his next start.”

3 years 1 month ago

Olt, Leonys Martin, and 2 B prospects get it done?

I’d like it even if we had to throw in another A prospect…

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 1 month ago

That sounds good to me. Then the Fish could trade Hanley and play Olt at 3B right away if they wanted.

3 years 1 month ago

Agreed. Gives y’all essentially two MLB ready prospects and us a chance to stop the bleeding that is our rotation. I hate giving up Olt, but a pitcher under control as good as JJ doesn’t come around very often.

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 1 month ago

Yeah, that’s why I think JJ is more valuable than Greinke or Hamels. If they trade for him, they get him for another year and get compensation if he walks. Ace-type pitcher when healthy.

LazerTown
3 years 1 month ago

Olt hasn’t played above AA and even there he has gotten a ton of k’s.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Seems like a lot to give up for JJ at this point.

Jonathan Rigby
3 years 1 month ago

what? olt by himself could bring a lot more

3 years 1 month ago

That is way too much. Olt is going to be a very important piece to this organization in the coming years. I’d give up Martin Perez, and Leonys Martin, and like Barrett Loux. I can’t see the Rangers parting ways with Olt and Profar. They should be on an untouchable list. Olt is going to be a superstar, plain and simple.

3 years 1 month ago

Plain & simple? with his strike out ratio in AA he could turn out to be Mark Reynolds

LazerTown
3 years 1 month ago

Only different. Olt went to Uconn, which automatically makes him pretty awesome.

M.Kit
3 years 1 month ago

Too much. Texas could probably get JJ with just Olt, maybe a B or C prospect

Lunchbox45
3 years 1 month ago

wow overvalue prospect much? thats not even close

Since_77
3 years 1 month ago

How is Josh Johnson an upgrade? His stats are below average for a MLB starter. He would get killed facing a DH. You’d be better off trying to get Cliff Lee.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Josh Johnson is one of the best pitchers in the game when he’s healthy; it’s keeping him healthy that’s been the problem.

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 1 month ago

He obviously doesn’t watch much baseball.

Crucisnh
3 years 1 month ago

OMF, to be fair, many AL fans are very wary of NL pitchers making the transition from the NL to the AL.

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 1 month ago

If you are good pitcher, you can pitch against anyone. That’s how I look at it.

Crucisnh
3 years 1 month ago

That’s too simplistic.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Not really, not when you’re that good. Maybe he wouldn’t put up numbers like he has in the past if he goes to the AL East, but he’s still going to be good.

Crucisnh
3 years 1 month ago

MS, my comment wasn’t directed at JJ. It was directed at the concept that a “good” NL pitcher should by default be a “good” AL pitcher, which is one giant pantload.

MaineSox
3 years 1 month ago

Yeah, in the general sense that isn’t always the case.

3 years 1 month ago

Texas needs to make a deal on this guy! But they need to make sure they don’t give up OLT, Profar and Perez. The Rangers have plenty of young arms and position players that could intrigue the Marlins.

M.Kit
3 years 1 month ago

I’m sure Profar is off limits in any trade discussions