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Author Topic: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros  (Read 7618 times)

shadow

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Re: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2012, 04:22:19 PM »

http://spacecoastdaily.com/category/sports/
It was the first inning of a district semifinal baseball game back in May 2009 when Merritt Island High school’s baseball team decided to challenge No. 17 again.

No. 17 was Cocoa Beach high school senior Brian Johnson. Johnson had torched the Mustangs earlier in the season, hitting a 3-run homerun while also striking out 12 hitters in six innings. Determined not to let Johnson beat them again, the Mustang’s coaching staff intentionally walked Johnson every time he came up to bat, six times total in two games.

With ace pitcher Kyle Van Alstine, who is now pitching for Air Force Academy, on the mound for Merritt Island, he challenged Johnson with a fastball in the first inning. With one swing of the bat, Johnson was soon circling the bases after he deposited his 17th career homerun over the right field fence.

According to former CBHS baseball coach Matt Kellam, Brian’s success on the field was a result of the hundreds of hours he spent working on his game.

“Brian put the time in and was reaping the rewards,” Kellam said. “He was driven to succeed and worked extremely hard to become the player he is. Most high school athletes do not want to put in the extra hours in the cage, the bullpen or long toss.”

 “Brian Johnson was one of the most fundamentally skilled baseball players that I had seen in my time as a player and coach.”

Fast forward three years later and Johnson is still hurting teams with his arm and bat. 

Johnson was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week last month and he is a big reason why the University of Florida Gators baseball team has been ranked in the top five for the majority of the 2012 season. Johnson, a 6’4 230 lb. junior for the Gators, has been a pitcher in the weekend rotation for all three seasons while also serving as the Gators primary designated hitter. This season, Johnson has been named to the Golden Spikes Award watch list, given to the top amateur baseball player in the country and the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award watch list. 

After earning Space Coast Player of the Year honors in 2008 and 2009 for Cocoa Beach HS, the honors didn’t stop for Johnson as he was named a Freshman All-American by Baseball America in 2010 and First-Team All-SEC in 2011. While helping lead the Gators to back to back appearances in the College World Series, Johnson also suited up for Team USA the past two summers.

“Team USA was one of the best experiences I ever had in my life,” Johnson said. “Traveling to Taiwan and Japan and playing with some of the best players in the country was a once in a lifetime experience. I never felt more proud to represent my country.”

After accomplishing these feats over the past half-decade, many would think that the southpaw was born to play baseball. However, he wasn’t even born a lefty. Johnson is a natural right hander. Johnson’s father, Billy Johnson Sr., had an interesting story on what led to his son becoming a lefty.

“When Brian was about three years old, he started swinging one of those big orange Flintstone bats,” Johnson said. “One day, I was watching him hit and swing right and left handed. So I started working with him to swing from the left side. His older brother and sister were right-handed and he’d ask me why they were doing it that way. I used to joke with him that “they were doing it wrong”. My mother used to work with him when she was babysitting him and being a lefty just started to become natural for him. He still bowls and writes right-handed though.”

Johnson was born in Lakeland before he moved to Cocoa Beach in 2003. He played Little League for a couple seasons before moving on to the high school ranks. Because Cocoa Beach allowed seventh and eighth graders to compete in high school athletics, he spent a year on junior varsity in 2004 before making the varsity squad in 2005. According to Kellam, it was apparent that Johnson would be one of his top players as an eighth grader.

“He certainly was one of our top players,” Kellam said.  “I saw a kid that was very skilled beyond his years. He was mentally mature to handle that type of situation.”

Cocoa Beach had long been known for its cross country and basketball programs but Johnson helped make the baseball team one of the stronger programs in Brevard County. Despite perennial contenders like Merritt Island and Rockledge high school nearby, Johnson made it well known that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, a 1971 CBHS grad, and graduate a Minuteman as well.

“I made a lot of good friends and I loved Cocoa Beach,” Johnson said. “It was such a good atmosphere and the high school always treated me great.”.

Despite the fact that his father played football at Florida State University, both parents were FSU graduates and his uncle Joe Williams was the head coach for the Seminoles men’s basketball team in the 1980s, Johnson went onto sign with the Gators. His older sister, Brooke, played softball for Florida and Johnson also liked the fact that the coaching staff was good with pitchers.

“I wanted to go somewhere where winning is expected,” Johnson said. “I grew up a FSU fan but after going to a lot of Brooke’s games and just being on campus, winning was contagious. It started to feel like this was the school to come to.”

 

Less than three years after playing with seventh and eighth graders at Cocoa Beach HS, Johnson has vaulted himself to national recognition. With the Major League Baseball draft less than a month away, ESPN’s lead MLB draft analyst Keith Law has Johnson ranked the No. 24 prospect in the country. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo also has Johnson ranked No. 24. As one of the top two-way players in the college ranks, Johnson will be a lock to improve on his 27th round drafting in 2009.
 
Aaron Fitt, a national writer for Baseball America and one of the lead college baseball experts in the country, believes Johnson will be drafted high.

“He just has advanced feel for pitching, to go along with a big, durable body that scouts love,” Fitt said. “There are some scouts who like him better as a hitter, because he does have big power in his bat, but the majority of scouts I've spoken with over the years prefer him on the mound, since left-handed pitching is always in demand.”

“Johnson has been hugely important to Florida's success over the last three years. He gives them two players for the price of one. He’s a big power threat in the middle of the lineup and a very reliable starter in the weekend rotation.”

After Johnson’s baseball season ends, he knows there’s only one place he’s going to be. Happily back in Cocoa Beach, switching his baseball glove for a fishing rod.

“All my family is back home,” Johnson said. “I’m ready to come back home to the beach, do a little surfing and relax. Being with people you love, there isn’t anywhere else I want to be”.

http://spacecoastdaily.com/category/sports/
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roger

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Re: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2012, 07:25:05 PM »

shadow, get your gator cap on and turn to channel 47!
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shadow

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Re: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2012, 08:34:32 PM »

Ha!  There just now starting to hit him.   Gators just got the bull pen going. :P
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ccb_dan

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Re: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2012, 07:20:06 AM »

Dang...first round.  Stoked for him!  Not as stoked as he must be though!  :)
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shadow

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Re: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2012, 05:41:34 PM »

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jt

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Re: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros
« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2012, 08:38:14 PM »

Thats sick! Im stoked and I dont even know the guy.
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shadow

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Re: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2012, 07:14:20 AM »

Yeah I've never met him either but had goose bumps when his name was called.

Unfortunately they got swept out of the CWS. >:(
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jt

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Re: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2012, 08:48:25 AM »

My buddy who is a big time red sox fan, texted me, "..hes going to be the Slater of baseball".

Which is pretty funny because he knows absolutely nothing about surfing. Well, he knows KS which is good enough I suppose!
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shadow

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Re: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros
« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2012, 06:10:44 AM »

Cocoa Beach grad signs $1.5M deal with Red Sox

GAINESVILLE — In a matter of days, Brian Johnson went from college student to million-dollar professional athlete.

Cocoa Beach graduate and University of Florida's junior left-handed pitcher and designated hitter officially signed a deal with the Boston Red Sox worth more than $1.5 million on Tuesday. He was the 31st selection overall in the Major League Baseball Draft this spring.

“I'm happy to be at this point in baseball now,” he said.

Johnson is the first Brevard County player to sign as a first-round choice since Prince Fielder of the Detroit Tigers did it in 2002. Merritt Island’s Clint Hurdle also was a first-round choice in 1975.

Florida Today Article Link Below

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120627/SPORTS/306270028/Cocoa-Beach-grad-signs-1-5M-deal-Red-Sox?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Home|s
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roger

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Re: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros
« Reply #40 on: June 30, 2012, 06:22:44 PM »

I hope he does well.  I can understand the desire to go early.  The guys I played with that chose to chase the ticket for the show lead very difficult lives.  Two made it for a little bit.  I think this guy has the skills to do well.  I hope he also gets his education.  Most of the really good ball players I know were dumb as rocks.  They blew money faster than anyone I knew.
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nuttjelly

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Re: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros
« Reply #41 on: June 30, 2012, 08:43:25 PM »

They blew money faster than anyone I knew.

Well said. I'm sure he has some good people in his corner.
Only reason I know is I golfed a bunch with Chris Sabo (3rd base Reds) and learned many  go broke. They made fun of his Ford fiesta back then while they all drove bmw's and lived to their means. He's tighter than dick's hatband to this day < I have a nice story about that if anyone likes
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jt

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Re: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros
« Reply #42 on: July 07, 2012, 01:56:11 AM »

Thats so sick. Its a no brainer to me. You only get one shot at this.

Like NJ said, just hope he has some people who arent yes men in his corner. Shit, give me 2 million now and ill make it grow like a chia pet.  :high:

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shadow

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Re: CB's Brian Johnson Scouted by the Pros
« Reply #43 on: May 29, 2014, 08:55:32 AM »

Brian has been pitching really well lately.

Player of the Day: Though his winning streak came to an end, it was another strong start for Brian Johnson. In five starts since joining the Sea Dogs, Johnson now has a 1.84 ERA and 0.955 WHIP. Across two levels, the left-hander has struck out 55 batters in 55 innings while walking only 15. He also has yet to allow a home run on the season.

http://news.soxprospects.com/2014/05/cup-of-coffee-johnson-takes-tough-luck.html
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