Height/Weight: 6’3”/180 lbs
College: Missouri State
Pierce Johnson hasn’t received the hype as the other right-handers cut from the same mold, largely a result of facing Missouri Valley Conference hitters on a weekly basis.
His arsenal consists of an easy 91-96 mph fastball, a filthy slider that could already be considered a plus offering and an above-average change. He has simple mechanics and fluid arm action that profile well at the next level. His stats won’t wow you, but his ceiling is high.
The only drawback with Johnson is his health, as he's overcome some type of injury every year. However, none of the injuries—most the result of bad luck—involved his elbow or shoulder, so it’s not an overly concerning issue.
I see a lot of Drew Storen in Johnson due to his plus fastball-slider combination, although the latter obviously will be developed as a starter. If he can stay healthy, improve his changeup and possibly add another pitch, Johnson could make his debut by late 2014 or early 2015.
Analysis: No problems with the Cubs stockpiling on pitching. A safe pick here by grabbing a high-upside, somewhat under-the-radar hurler.