On June 25th, the Mets traded Collin Cowgill, their opening day center fielder, to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Kyle Johnson, a speedy outfielder in the lower minors. Coincidentally, Johnson was a 25th rounder for the Angels in last year’s draft, and found his way into our organization on the 25th of June. After originally being assigned to Savannah after the trade, –which I thought was a good move by Sandy Alderson — Johnson was promptly promoted to St. Lucie where he began to really tear it up.
He talked about the day he was traded: “I was just like, ‘OK.’ I was caught really off-guard. I didn’t really know anything about it. He (Bobby Scales) asked if I had any questions, and I was just kind of speechless.”
The poor guy and his fiancee had to make the drive from Iowa to Savannah, Georgia — and then drive again to Port St. Lucie to join his new team after less than ten games with the Sand Gnats. Johnson was a nice addition to the St. Lucie team and immediately gave them a boost at the top of the line-up with his speed. In his two-year pro career between the Angels and Mets, Johnson has hit .290 with a .395 on-base percentage. He has stolen 46 bases in 53 attempts in 128 career games. 39 of those stolen bases have come this year as he approaches the 50 mark quickly…no joke intended there.
I love a guy that understands his role with the team — and Johnson is definitely one of those players who is well aware of his capabilities. I’m really excited about his future with us.
“I’ve always been a top-of-the-order-type guy,” Johnson said. “I get on base any way I can. One thing I learned in college is a hit by pitch and a walk is just as good as a hit — just getting on base for those big Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5 hitters to get those RBIs and get me in. I’ll get RBIs every once in a while, but I kind of pride myself on stolen bases and scoring runs.”
Here’s to him being a fast riser in our system!