Aside from Jordan Johnson's still-alarming home run rate, the right-hander from Elk Grove, Calif. is putting together a successful start to the 2017 campaign, of which he is debuting in the Eastern League. He put his stamp, thus far at least, on that beginning with a 101-pitch outing at home against the Altoona Curve on Monday. He struck out five while allowing just two hits and one run over six strong innings.
The success for Johnson Monday seemed to be with well-placed strikes as he totaled 20 looking strikes, which tied a career-high.
It was the second time in his career that Johnson has reached 100 pitches in a game, with the first coming last season in San Jose when he threw 103 in a hit-riddled game against Inland Empire. That may be, the hits, that is, what differs Johnson from last year's version. Opposing players averaged .274 off Johnson a year ago. But he has been tougher to get a base hit against in 2017. He's faced 114 batters this year, about a fifth of his total from last year, and the opposing batting average currently sits at .223.
All other marks look normal so far for Johnson, as well, like a 21.9 K% and an 8.8 BB% (which is slightly higher than last season).
— C.J. Hinojosa made his season debut with the Flying Squirrels, playing third base while rehabbing Brandon Crawford manned shortstop. Hinojosa, who missed the first month of the season with a currently unknown injury, went 1-for-4 with a single but got picked off at first base.
— The numbers continue to look fantastic for Flying Squirrels first baseman Chris Shaw. Through 106 plate appearances, Shaw is slashing .315/.425/.539 with identical strikeout and walk percentages (14.2%), both of which are spectacular figures.
— The Ryder Jones left field experiment had a highlight Monday night in Sacramento as the corner infielder turned outfielder ran back on a hard liner and made a nice leaping catch about six feet short of the warning track. Jones has always been described as an athletic player, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he made a play such as this, and is seeming to handle left field serviceably. Monday night was Jones' fourth straight game starting in left field, and he's currently slashing .312/.384/.481 with impressive strikeout and walk rates (15.1 K%, 9.3 BB%) through 86 plate appearances.
— To wrap up a long "Other Notes" section, here's a highlight from Monday's Augusta GreenJackets game. That's Bay Area native Ryan Kirby showcasing some opposite field power with a double off the left-field wall. Kirby, a first baseman, went to Granada High School in Livermore.
TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP
- Tyler Beede: DNP
- Christian Arroyo: 0-for-4, 4 SO
- Bryan Reynolds: DNP
- Steven Duggar: DNP
- Chris Shaw: 2-for-4, 2B
- Sandro Fabian: 0-for-3, R, BB, 2 SO
- Heath Quinn: DNP
- Joan Gregorio: DNP
- Jordan Johnson: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K
- Andrew Suarez: DNP
- Ty Blach: DNP
- Steven Okert: DNP
- Sam Coonrod: DNP
- Matt Krook: DNP
- Aramis Garcia: DNP
- C.J. Hinojosa: 1-for-4
- Reyes Moronta: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K
- Rodolfo Martinez: DNP
- Austin Slater: 1-for-5, R, 3 SO
- Kelvin Beltre: 0-for-3, BB, 2 SO
- Dan Slania: DNP
- Cory Taylor: DNP
- Chris Stratton: DNP
- Chase Johnson: DNP
- Jalen Miller: DNP
- Melvin Adon: DNP
- Garrett Williams: DNP
- Dylan Davis: 1-for-3, 2B
- Ryder Jones: 2-for-4, R, BB
- Hunter Cole: 0-for-2, BB, SO