Chase Johnson: Prospect Profile for San Francisco Giants' 3rd-Round Pick

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 7, 2013

Image courtesy of Cal Poly University
Image courtesy of Cal Poly University

Player: Chase Johnson

Drafted by: San Francisco Giants (No. 101 overall)

Position: RHP

DOB: 1/9/1992 (Age: 21)

Height/Weight: 6'3"/190 lbs

Bats/Throws: R/R

School: Cal Poly

Previously Drafted: 2010: 26th round by Texas Rangers

Background

Johnson certainly fit the bill of what the Rangers look for in a draft pick, even though they weren't able to get him signed as a 26th-round pick. That move is going to pay off, as the flamethrower is expected to go much higher this time around. 

Johnson does have a limited ceiling that will lower his stock, as he is never going to be more than a reliever in pro ball. But he has a good enough package to profile as a late-inning, high-leverage pitcher in that role. 

Full Scouting Report

Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.

Body/Mechanics:

Solid pitcher's frame and a little room to add more muscle if he wants, but it's not necessary; very good arm speed to generate big velocity; delivery is messy, relying more on his arm, not getting a good push off the rubber, and showing the ball very early. 

Fastball: 60/65

Will show plus-plus velocity but sits more 92-94; pitch plays up thanks to late downward movement in the zone; lack of command and deception makes it easy to pick up; with a small tweak to hide the ball, pitch could grade out as a 70. 

Changeup: 45/50

Doesn't show good feel for the pitch at present; trusts it more than other off-speed offering, though still needs to throw it in key spots to keep hitters off fastball; ball comes out of his hand firm and straight; not likely to be more than average pitch. 

Curveball: 40/45

Still trying to find feel and release point on breaking ball; sometimes it will curve, other times it will look like a poor man's slider; could be better off getting rid of the pitch to focus more on changeup and becoming two-pitch reliever. 

Control: 40/50

Shows some natural skill for being able to throw strikes; can be around the zone a bit too much for comfort; lack of feel for off-speed stuff does hurt his profile; natural movement on fastball helps him even when he is around the heart of the plate. 

Command: 35/45

Never going to have very good command; too much upper body, not enough legs and ability to repeat delivery; can get away with some things because fastball is so good but won't be around long with present mechanics. 

MLB Player Comparison: Octavio Dotel

Projection: Late-inning power reliever with improved command and secondary stuff; otherwise, mop-up duty bullpen arm. 

 

MLB ETA: 2015

 

Chances of Signing: 85%

It is hard to envision a scenario in which Johnson returns to school, unless he really feels he can do what is necessary to improve his command enough to at least make his probability as a late-inning reliever seem more likely. 

Also working in Johnson's favor is the fact that this isn't a deep draft, so teams are going to be searching for assets/specialists earlier than they normally would, making the money he can get now a little higher than next year. 

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