Toronto Blue Jays: How Will Kelly Johnson Fare in 2012?
Kelly Johnson had a mixed bag of a 2011 season. He hit 21 home runs and 58 RBI for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Toronto Blue Jays, but his batting average was a paltry .222. He also struck out a career-high 163 times.
But now that Johnson has some experience playing for Toronto and is getting used to having Rogers Centre as his home, how will he fare in 2012?
I personally think he'll improve considerably in 2012; his numbers should stay the same or improve in several categories.
When Johnson was playing for Arizona in 2010 and 2011, he was playing in a hitter-friendly park. Toronto's stadium is a hitter-friendly park as well, so his home run totals should stay roughly the same.
He's also been slotted into the second spot into the lineup, which means he should be able to drive in runs, as well as make it to home himself, with guys like Bautista and Lawrie behind him.
However, there are two big questions for 2012; can he rebound from his awful average in 2011 and how will he perform defensively?
For his batting average, I think he can do so, though it won't be an impressive number.
Johnson's batting average has fluctuated over the course of his career. In 2008, when he played for the Atlanta Braves he hit .287. However, in 2009, he hit just .224.
Then, when he played for the Diamondbacks in 2010, he hit .284.
However, it should be noted that even though his batting average was .222, he improved significantly once he was traded to the Blue Jays.
Before the trade, he was just hitting .209 in Arizona. In 33 game for Toronto, it was .270.
Now defensively, is still something I am concerned about.
He committed 10 errors in 2011, but four of those were in the 33 games in Toronto. Ouch.
It seems odd, because it was something that he had improved on each year. He went from 14 errors in 2007 and 2008, to 10 in 2009, to eight in 2010, and just six, when he was in Arizona.
In Spring Training this year, he made two errors in 18 games.
Fortunately, for the Blue Jays organization, they have several options to use, if they want to replace him in late-game situations, including the soon-to-be 45-year old Omar Vizquel.
2012 Projections: .256 BA, 19 HR, 60 RBI, 15 SB, .348 OBP, 82 R, 153 SO, 11 E, .983 Fielding Percentage
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