Braves trade strikeout-plagued former 1st-rounder

The Braves gave up waiting for Cody Johnson to develop and traded the outfielder to the Yankees for cash considerations on Friday, rather than use a 40-man roster spot on the strikeout-plagued behemoth.

Johnson, 22, hit .212 with 18 home runs and 151 strikeouts in 344 at-bats last season for three affiliates at the Double-A level and lower. His average, on-base percentage (.269) and slugging percentage (.343) were his full-season lows.

A first-round draft pick in 2006, Johnson hit a combined .243 with a .320 OBP in five minor league seasons, totaling 94 homers, 309 RBIs, 182 walks and a whopping 629 strikeouts in 1,613 at-bats.

The Braves were hopeful after the 6-foot-4, 240-pounder hit .239 with 32 homers, 87 RBIs and .342 OBP in 2009 at High-A and Double-A.

But Johnson regressed in 2010, hitting .189 with 114 strikeouts in 233 at-bats at Double-A Mississippi.

Teams faced a Friday deadline to add players to their 40-man roster who had enough time in the minors to require that they either be protected or exposed to next month’s Rule 5 draft.

Rather than use a roster spot on Johnson, the Braves cut ties with him.

33 comments Add your comment


November 19th, 2010
5:58 pm

hooters girl

November 19th, 2010
6:02 pm

aaaaarrrrrgggg second!!


November 19th, 2010
6:05 pm

This means they can get Carl Crawford, Jason Werth, and Jacoby Ellsbury, right?


November 19th, 2010
6:09 pm

does this move allow room for the braves to pick up a rule 5 draft, maybe an outfielder?


November 19th, 2010
6:11 pm

it only saves a few hundred thousand at most by sending him away. so unless crawford wants to play for 2 million its safe to say no.


November 19th, 2010
6:20 pm

That poor Johnson kids stats are as ugly as they get. He should be thankful that he has one more year to play minor league ball. Sounds like if the pitchers can spin it at all, he does a U-Turn to the bench most nights.

Michael from Macon

November 19th, 2010
6:35 pm

It’s a real shame! This kid had great potential! Unfortunately, it ounds as if his potential will remained untapped.

Brad Kominsk Redo

November 19th, 2010
6:50 pm

Or Dave Kingman…too bad. Nearly 50% strike outs. I don’t think Kong even came that close…congrats to Wren for getting something…probably a few bats and balls thrown in too seeing how cheap Liberty is.

Bring Back Matty-D

November 19th, 2010
7:00 pm

Please…get the spelling right…it’s KOMMINSK…Thank you.


November 19th, 2010
7:08 pm

Hope this one doesn’t come back to bit us. Seems like they might have gotten a lower grade prospect instead of pocket silver. But every little bit helps, I guess, when budgets are tight.


November 19th, 2010
7:56 pm

If he turns into a power hitting legit DH for the Yankees….we are gonna wonder what if…


November 19th, 2010
9:27 pm

This guy has more raw power than anyone I’ve seen come through Rome: more than Freeman, Heyward, Gerry Rodriguez, anybody. Set franchise HR records at Rome & then next year, Myrtle Beach, in only about half a season. Too bad he couldn’t cut down those K’s.

SF Braves Fan

November 19th, 2010
11:16 pm

He’s only 22! Seems a little early to give up on him.

Terry Pendleton

November 20th, 2010
12:33 am

I tried to teach the kid but he just wouldn’t listen…


November 20th, 2010
3:08 am

I liked this kid alot. has world of potential. alot more than Schafer or McLouth.

Ugg's Juggs

November 20th, 2010
3:15 am

Mark Reynolds didn’t K this much in the minors. CJ would have set an mlb record.


November 20th, 2010
7:37 am

How much cash was involved?


November 20th, 2010
9:43 am

Any word on whether or not the Yanks are protecting him? I would think not, so I would also assume the cash is less than the Rule V purchase price (100K IIRC).


November 20th, 2010
10:12 am

it’s official now – the 2006 draft was a bust. the best prospect is jeff locke, but he was traded to the Pirates in the Mc Louth ripoff. Exarts, Evans, Rasmus, Rodgers also didn’t amount to anything

it’s good that Roy Clark left for the Nats. he picks better when he has the 1st overall pick. after that, he gets confused.


November 20th, 2010
11:31 am

Living near Tampa I can tell you that the story line here is that Carl Crawford is looking for a $185 million contract. Don’t hold your breath on getting him.

Speedy Gonzalez

November 20th, 2010
12:31 pm

Martin Prado & centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury at the top of the Braves’ lineup would terrorize the National League, and offer unlimited RBI opportunities for Chipper, Uggla, McCann and Jason.

Ellsbury isn’t making that much, and could had for the right price.


November 20th, 2010
6:21 pm

In Maddux’s heyday, NINTY percent of the people voted Maddux as the pitcher they would most want to start a must win game. If that isn’t dominating your era, I don’t know what is. SCORES of articles were written proclaiming Maddux as the greatest pitcher ever. It was proposed that they rename the Cy Young award the Greg Maddux award. His 1992-1998 collective ERA is the lowest since 1918 in the deadball era.

So Cal Brave

November 21st, 2010
2:36 am

@SwampWise: NINETY percent of people don’t know why you post such stupid comments that have nothing to do with anything relevant.


November 21st, 2010
9:30 am

**Terry Pendleton — I tried to teach the kid but he just wouldn’t listen**

I had to laugh – too funny
At least TP won’t have to fake it as a “hitting coach” anyway.


November 21st, 2010
10:16 am

if i had some hitter’s here it wouldn’t be a problem


November 21st, 2010
11:46 am

Johnson holds the single season record for homeruns at MB. I wish him well. He is still very young. As often happens with the Braves, this move could backfire and, to be honest, I hope that is the case.

Michael Procton

November 21st, 2010
3:17 pm

“Strikeout-plagued behemoth?” Wow, DOB. Well played.

Capt. Obvious

November 22nd, 2010
12:50 pm

He should try to put the ball in play,reducing his strikeouts.


November 22nd, 2010
4:25 pm

He still has a great future on the slow pitch softball circuit.


November 22nd, 2010
9:32 pm

I’d assume he was going to be snatched up in rule-5 so I guess it had to be done. Maybe he’ll be back one day.

Bobby Cox

November 23rd, 2010
6:20 pm

My grandmother could out- hit, out run, and field much better than that slob. He ran like a turtle and looked like one too. H e could not hit the knuckle-ball throwing teenage girl. She struck him out five times in the grapefriut league play. He can open the doors and carry the luggage for Jeter and the boys. Good RIDDANCE!!!!!!!


November 23rd, 2010
6:43 pm

Sounds like he isn’t coachable like Francour.


November 25th, 2010
12:06 pm

not to worry fans..all the braves need is nine new starters. nothing these owners cant pick up for a few grand…

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