Johnson, 26, is one three prospects that the Dodgers acquired in last winter’s three-team trade that sent Todd Frazier from the Reds to the White Sox. Long rated as one of the best prospects in the White Sox organization, Johnson struggled at the Triple-A level in his lone year with the Dodgers. In 516 plate appearances, he logged a pedestrian .261/.321/.356 batting line despite playing in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He did manage to swipe 26 bags, but he was also thrown out on another 11 attempts.
Johnson has seen a bit of time in the Majors, mostly with the 2015 White Sox (plus another six plate appearances in L.A. this past season). In 120 career plate appearances at the big league level, Johnson has a .226/.296/.264 batting line. However, he’s a career .281/.336/.392 hitter in parts of three Triple-A campaigns even in spite of his poor work at that level in 2016. And, he’s just a couple of years removed from ranking as Chicago’s No. 4 prospect in the eyes of both Baseball America and MLB.com. (He also ranked second on MLB.com’s list of the game’s best second base prospects that year.) Johnson has received 80-grades (on the 20-80 scale) for his speed and drawn positive reviews for his bat-to-ball skills. He’s never been said to have much power in his bat, though, and he’s also been plagued by elbow, hamstring and knee injuries dating back to his college days.
The Dodgers, though, have been connected to second-base upgrades all offseason, seemingly indicating that they didn’t believe Johnson to be a capable heir to that position in the long haul. Johnson does have a minor league option remaining, so he could be claimed or traded to a team that wants to take a flier on his once-tantalizing upside and stash him in Triple-A to open the year.