Josh Johnson, Gaby Sanchez: MLB's and Florida Marlins' Hidden Gems
Josh Johnson makes history each time he takes the mound.
Since he plays for the Florida Marlins, however, media outlets fail to mention him in the NL Cy Young race as often as Ubaldo Jimenez and Adam Wainwright.
Jimenez, whose 15-2 record comes thanks to a hot start in April and May, fares much better with his team's run support.
Over his first 17 starts, the Colorado Rockies pitcher went 13-1 with a 1.15 ERA. In Jimenez's last six starts, he is 2-1 with a 7.64 ERA.
Against the Marlins, he had his second-worst outing of the season; five 1/3 innings of a six run- (four-earned) ball game.
But he got a no-decision when Florida blew a lead.
Five times this season the Florida Marlins' troubling bullpen has lost a lead during Johnson's starts.
It has prevented him from a 15-3 record, which would put him alongside Jimenez.
Four times this season the righty has had a no-decision when allowing just one run. The 26-year-old pitcher even lost during Roy Halladay's perfect game despite giving up only an unearned run.
Unlike Jimenez, Johnson has been consistent all season long.
He leads all of baseball with a 1.61 ERA, and over his last 13 starts, he has gone at least six innings and given up one run or fewer.
That streak is the longest since Greg Maddux achieved it in 1995.
Eighteen of Johnson's 20 starts are quality ones, with the season opener against the New York Mets his worst: a five-inning, four-run affair.
He has fanned 141 batters, fourth-best in baseball, and has walked just 29 in 134 1/3 innings.
Despite these statistics, Bleacher Report doesn't even have a tag for him!
And in the NL Rookie of the Year battle, 26-year-old Gaby Sanchez continues at a consistent pace.
Instead of the first baseman, though, 20-year-old phenom Mike Stanton attracts all the attention since he's one of the top prospects in baseball.
Stanton's power is that of legend. Five-hundred-foot homers have been sighted.
Yet, Sanchez's numbers speak for themselves: .304 average, 11 home runs, 44 RBI, 23 doubles, and 46 runs.
In comparison, Atlanta's Jason Heyward, who was voted as an All-Star starter, brings a media circus with him.
After coming back from a thumb injury, he is batting .266 with 11 homers and 48 RBI.
San Francisco's Buster Posey, who has been on a tear during the month of July, is batting .358 with eight home runs and 32 RBI in just 47 games.
Time will tell if the rookie catcher stays on such a torrid pace.
All this begs this question: Where would both Johnson and Sanchez be if they played for an organization with a larger fan base and more national attention?
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