Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ben Johnson Anyone?

The chance of Ben Johnson making the opening day 25 man roster is a long shot but still very plausible. He has shown a lot of good things this spring like his power and ability to drive the runner in. This spring Johnson has a .241 batting average but a .328 on base percentage. He has 10 Runs, 5 RBI’s, 2 stolen bases, and 2 homeruns in 54 at bats. Johnson has shown that he can hit, field, and possibly run. But will Ben Johnson make the squad?

The recent hand injury of Lastings Milledge might help his cause. Milledge got hit in the wrist during a game last week, it is not broken, but Milledge has not played in the last couple of games. Milledge and Johnson have very similar stats. They both have 54 at bats with Milledge having a much better average along with more total bases, stolen bases, and less strikeouts. Johnson has more walks and home runs. Both Milledge and Johnson have 5 RBI’s and runs. Johnson is not getting as much consideration as Milledge even though he is putting up very similar numbers.

Johnson is also more valuable coming off the bench. He has shown he is an okay pinch hitter. Willie Randolph would also be more inclined to use Johnson off the bench then Milledge.

I’m not here to say Johnson should be on the opening day roster and Milledge should not. I am just trying to make my case for Johnson. Ben Johnson’s chances are being helped due to the fact that a fifth starter will not be needed until Sunday, April 15. That could help him be a bench player unless Willie Randolph decides to bring another reliever. Personally, I feel that if Ben Johnson is given a shot he will succeed and continue to improve. If Johnson does not start in the Majors this year I guarantee he will be there by the end of the season. Good luck Ben Johnson, I hope you make it.

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