Micah Johnson added to his argument for being the full-time starting second baseman for the Chicago White Sox Monday afternoon, finishing 2-for-2 in a spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Though the game ended in a 3-3 tie (with each team collecting nine hits and one error), Johnson’s plate presence was felt for the “Good Guys” in this game.
This spring in five games, Johnson is batting .300 (3-for-10) with one triple, one home run, two walks and two RBIs. On Monday, one of his two hits was a solo home run to centerfield against Enrique Burgos in the bottom of the ninth inning, tying the score at 3-3.
Last year in spring training, Johnson played in 21 games for the White Sox where he batted .360 with nine hits, one double, four RBIs, two walks in 25 at-bats. In his ’14 MiLB season, the infielder batted .275 with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights and .329 in his time with the Birmingham Barons in Double-A.
According to Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections for the 2015 season, Johnson will bat .251 in 250 plate appearances for the White Sox.
Granted, the yearly publication doesn’t have Johnson in the majors much this season, but he is currently in a battle for the second baseman’s starting job with Carlos Sanchez, who got the nod to start on Monday. Sanchez was 1-for-2 during his time against the Diamondbacks.
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In a report by Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, he wrote about how Johnson “has survival skill to win job.”
"“Van Schouwen quoted Johnson in a March 4 article: Baseball’s not the type of game where you can get too hyped; you have to stay humble yet confident in your abilities.”"
I like the attitude Johnson brings to the White Sox (and to the entire organization) because he can make this ball club a much better team than it has been the past couple years. In the past two seasons the White Sox have lost a total of 188 games, and have not finished better than fourth in the AL Central standings. The last postseason birth was in ’08, and the last postseason series win came with the ’05 World Series championship, when the White Sox swept the Houston Astros in four games.
I’m not saying Johnson is the difference of the White Sox being a contender or pretender in ’15, but he has speed … and lots of it. If he can learn to hit at the MLB level just a little better, and use that speed to get on base, he will no doubt make a difference for the White Sox this season.
This battle with Johnson and Sanchez (and possibly others on the roster) will most likely come down to the wire because they both are highly regarded within the organization. Both players bring a unique skill to the position, but now it is time for the play of Johnson and Sanchez to do all the talking, and most likely that play will make the ultimate final decision for the White Sox this spring.