Sunday, January 3, 2016

DrB's 2016 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #11 Chase Johnson

Chase Johnson, RHP.  DOB:  1/9/1992.  6'3", 185 lbs.

A+:  8-3, 2.43, 111 IP, 9.00 K/9, 2.76 BB/9, GO/AO= 1.61.
AA:  1-1, 5.93, 13.2 IP, 11.85 K/9, 5.27 BB/9, GO/AO= 1.40.

Here's where I think writing about Giants prospects gets interesting.  Chase Johnson is generally considered to be part of a large "second tier" of Giants pitching prospects except the talent is there for him to be at the top of the first tier if he keeps up this type of performance.  Johnson has always had the tools with a FB that sits in the mid-90's and tops out at about 98 MPH.  His secondary pitches are not as consistent, but can be strikeout pitches at times.  What he lacks is a track record of consistency, something he made significant progress on in 2015.  Moving up from the pitcher-friendly SAL to the hitter-friendly Cal League, his numbers improved across the board, most notably his BB rate and he maintained it through the season.  He allowed 5 ER in 4 IP in his first AA start, but that came with a 9/2 K/BB.  I would expect Chase Johnson to start 2016 back in Richmond where he will try to solidify the consistency he found in San Jose last year.  He has enough stuff to have a ceiling as a #1 starter although his size and stamina may be a barrier.  He also could end up in a MLB bullpen where he has the stuff to be a closer.  ETA could be as early as late 2016 but more likely 2017 or even 2018.


  1. Doc's Top 50 on Chase:

    2014: 21st
    2015: ---
    2016: 11th

  2. Hmmm... The last two prospect rankings have been pretty bold! Slater who has been converted from OF and has played one year at his new position (2B). And now Johnson jumping from unranked to #11.

    FWIW, when Cove Chatter went all gushing on Johnson last year, I read up on him. Interesting prospect. When he came out of college, he up-ticked in velocity but was throwing a fast, but hittable, fastball so it was graded as a 60. But one scout I read said that if he could add some sink or deception through a minor change in his mechanics, it could be a 70. Here's hoping to it!

    It was also said, by the same guy I think, that Johnson was 'too much chest, not enough legs' (something like that) as a pitcher that he might not ever be able to function at a high level, deep into games during a long season or develop consistent mechanics. But I don't know, I don't think even even seen YouTube clips of him. It's just what I read.

    1. There are a couple of short videos of Chase Johnson on his bio page on Check it out!

    2. One of them shows him throwing a hellacious wipeout backfoot slider to K a batter.