Pierce Johnson
Pierce Johnson
27-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  Foreign
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Pierce Johnson in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed with the Cubs in June of 2012. He received a $1.196 million signing bonus, commensurate with his projected slot.
Heads to Japan
PFree Agent  F
December 9, 2018
Johnson relayed Saturday via his personal Twitter account that he agreed to a contract Saturday with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league.
A first-round selection of the Cubs in 2012, Johnson received his first cup of coffee in the majors in 2017 before sticking around on a permanent basis as a member of the Giants organization last season. Over his 37 appearances out of the bullpen, Johnson submitted a 5.56 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 43.2 innings. Those poor numbers resulted in him being outrighted off the 40-man roster in November and likely would have forced him to settle for a minor-league deal this offseason had he elected to remain in North America. Instead, he'll head overseas in 2019 on what is presumably a far more lucrative offer than he would have fetched stateside.
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Pitching Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
Even Split
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .227 78 16 11 15 3 1 1
Since 2016vs Right .248 115 22 12 25 5 2 4
2018vs Left .222 75 15 11 14 3 1 1
2018vs Right .245 111 21 11 24 5 2 4
2017vs Left .333 3 1 0 1 0 0 0
2017vs Right .333 4 1 1 1 0 0 0
2016vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
ERA at Home
ERA at Home
No Stats
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Since 2016Home 4.09 1.45 22.0 3 2 0 7.0 5.3 0.8
Since 2016Away 6.75 1.37 22.2 0 0 0 8.3 4.0 1.2
2018Home 4.29 1.38 21.0 3 2 0 6.4 5.1 0.9
2018Away 6.75 1.37 22.2 0 0 0 8.3 4.0 1.2
2017Home 0.00 3.00 1.0 0 0 0 18.0 9.0 0.0
2017Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Stat Review
How does Pierce Johnson compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
93.7 mph
Strand %
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Pierce Johnson
Farm Futures: NL Central Top 10s
February 9, 2016
RotoWire's James Anderson dives into the best prospects in the NL Central, including the Brewers' Jorge Lopez, who has a chance to be a solid contributor in the majors this season.
Tiered Rankings: 2016 MLB Rookies
December 22, 2015
James Anderson shares his first set of tiered prospect rankings for the 2016 season. Where does Rays left-hander Blake Snell check in?
Regan's Rumblings: September Call-Ups
August 20, 2015
David Regan looks at possible September reinforcements for each team, including Rockies shortstop prospect Trevor Story
Farm Futures: Top 10 Farm Systems
August 11, 2015
RotoWire's James Anderson breaks down the top 10 farm systems after the July 31 trade deadline, with a bit of a surprise at the top spot.
Farm Futures: Top 200 Update and Carolina League Pitchers
May 19, 2015
Cubs catcher Kyle Schwarber has been swinging a hot bat, but James Anderson says it's unclear if his career path is behind the plate.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Once a highly-rated prospect, Johnson spent the majority of the season as a 26-year-old reliever at Triple-A Iowa before being waived and claimed by the Giants in late September. His unremarkable 4.31 ERA at Triple-A hides some solid underlying numbers, as he struck out 31.6 percent of the batters he faced and posted a 3.43 FIP. Johnson's minor-league numbers have been solid at every stop outside of a disastrous 2016 season at Triple-A in which he registered a 6.14 ERA and 14.9 percent walk rate. Johnson will have to compete for a spot in the Giants' bullpen in camp. His solid strikeout numbers last season leave some hope that he could carve out a role a prominent role in time, but it's hard to see that happening in 2018.
Injuries hampered Johnson throughout 2016, limiting his workload to 22 appearances split between the rotation and the bullpen at Triple-A Iowa. Fortunately, he finished the season healthy, despite missing time with arm, lat, and hand ailments. Walks have been a problem for the 25-year-old at times in his development, but the shift to a relief role yielded excellent results as he bolstered his strikeout rate in shorter outings and reduced the impact of his free passes in the process. Johnson has an above-average mid-90s fastball and a very good curveball, with the potential to develop a changeup. If he's able to harness a third pitch, there is reason to believe that he can improve his effectiveness against lefties, who hit .323 against him last season. The Cubs will likely give Johnson an opportunity to earn a roster spot during spring training, and if everything clicks, he has the arsenal necessary to be a good late-inning reliever as soon as 2017.
Johnson has been one of the top pitching prospects for the Cubs for quite some time now, and with a 2.08 ERA for Double-A Tennessee last year, it's possible he's nearing his big-league debut. On the other hand, he was repeating the level as a 24-year-old, and despite the low ERA, his 72:32 K:BB in 95 innings was a bit lackluster. That his strikeout rate dropped to 6.8 K/9 last year is a bit of concern, but he missed the first two months of the year with a strained lat and he could have been compensating. He was still able to get hitters out in other ways, which bodes well for his future. Expect a healthy Johnson to start the year with Triple-A Iowa, with a callup on the horizon if he can sustain the improved control that he showed last season.
Everyone talks about all of the good hitting prospects in the Cubs' organization, but for some reason the pitchers get short shrift. With C.J. Edwards hurt most of the year and Kyle Hendricks promoted, Johnson may now be the best pitching prospect in the Cubs' minor league system. He struck out 91 in 91.2 innings with Double-A Tennessee, so there obviously is something there, but he also walked 54. The 23-year-old righty still has a little bit of work to do. Expect him to start the year with Tennessee, with a quick promotion to Triple-A Iowa if he keeps his walks down. This could be his last year in the minors.
While the Cubs' hitting prospects get all the ink, they have a few good pitchers coming up through the ranks as well, and Johnson may be the best of them all. Between Low-A Kane County and High-A Daytona, he had a stellar 9.4 K/9 and only gave up five home runs in 118.1 innings. While his K:BB ratio declined when he was promoted to Daytona, it was still respectable. Johnson is probably a year or two away, but when he comes up to the Cubs, he should be solid.
More Fantasy News
Hits free agency
PFree Agent  F
November 2, 2018
Johnson elected free agency after being outrighted from San Francisco's 40-man roster, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
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Called up from Triple-A
PSan Francisco Giants  F
September 3, 2018
Johnson was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Monday, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic Bay Area reports.
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Sent to minors
PSan Francisco Giants  F
August 14, 2018
Johnson was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday, Kerry Crowley of The San Jose Mercury News reports.
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Called up by Giants
PSan Francisco Giants  F
August 4, 2018
Johnson was called up from Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday.
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Sent down to Triple-A
PSan Francisco Giants  F
July 4, 2018
Johnson was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic Bay Area reports.
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