Player: Chase Johnson
Drafted by: San Francisco Giants (No. 101 overall)
DOB: 1/9/1992 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6'3"/190 lbs
School: Cal Poly
Previously Drafted: 2010: 26th round by Texas Rangers
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.