34-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Rob Johnson in 2017. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Rob Johnson Contract Information:
Signed a minor league contract with the Padres in February of 2014.
Johnson signed a minor league contract with the Padres, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports.
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Rob Johnson Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Rob Johnson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Rob Johnson.
Johnson proved last season why he was never destined to be anything more than a major-league backup, at best. He was charged with a league-high nine passed balls last season in just 61 games, and his bat couldn't save his job as he was optioned to Triple-A in early August after hitting .191 with two home runs. His .574 OPS was fifth lowest in the AL among catchers with 200 plate appearances. Unfortunately for Seattle, Johnson's replacement, Adam Moore, posted the second-lowest OPS at .513. And free-agent acquisition Miguel Olivo led the majors with 10 passed balls (albeit in 50 more games than Johnson). Johnson was designated for assignment and traded to San Diego in December, where he'll likely be the top backup to Nick Hundley.
Johnson spent most of his career as Jeff Clement's caddy, but the pecking order changed last season, and for good when Clement was finally shipped to Pittsburgh. And with Kenji Johjima back in Japan, Johnson, who earned praise for his handling of the staff last year, has the No. 1 catching job to himself. Adam Moore is still Seattle's catcher of the future, but he'll be relegated to backup duty this season. Johnson had a number of offseason surgeries and might not be ready for spring training. The real threat to hold him back, though, is his bat – .213/.289/.326 is a problem, but one the Mariners will endure until Moore matures.
Johnson didn't get many at-bats (31) after a late-season callup last year but showed improvement at the plate at Triple-A Tacoma, rebounding from a .240 average in April and May to hit .349 the next three months with eight home runs and 22 doubles. Had Kenji Johjima not signed a three-year extension last season, Johnson likely would be this season's backup. But with both Johjima and Jeff Clement in the fold, Johnson is probably headed back to Triple-A Tacoma for 2009 unless the Mariners experiment with Clement at first base or DH. The Mariners also re-signed backup Jamie Burke in the offseason. A good backstop, Johnson needs to develop his hitting skills if he wants to be anything more than a career backup.
Johnson rebounded from a tough year at Triple-A Tacoma in 2006 to improve all around in 2007. His OPS went from .579 to .703, and his plate discipline took a jump too, as he cut his strikeouts (76 to 62 in 82 more at-bats) and increased his walk rate (from one every 26 at-bats, to one every 10.8 at-bats). He also had a career-high 26 doubles. But Johnson is still behind teammate Jeff Clement on the organizational depth chart. And whereas Clement is looked at as an eventual major league starter, Johnson is seen as primarily a future backup.
Johnson appeared overmatched at Triple-A Tacoma last season, but that was not a surprise considering he skipped Double-A entirely. He needs to improve his plate discipline and hit for more power. He is a solid athlete who runs well for a catcher and has a good glove, but Jeff Clement is the organization's catcher of the future.