Arguably the biggest question for the Chicago White Sox entering spring training was the competition for the starting second base job.
According to WhiteSox.com beat writer Scott Merkin, camp started with a five-man race for the honor to start at the position. Through the first month or so of camp, Micah Johnson has stood out the most on the field.
Mar 17, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox infielder Micah Johnson against the Seattle Mariners at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Johnson is hitting, getting on base and running, everything you want from a player with his skill set.
In his 11 spring training tilts to date (through Tuesday), he leads the club with a .444 average, along being tied for the team lead with Avisail Garcia at an even .500 on base percentage.
Johnson also has one of the team’s two triples (oddly enough with Jose Abreu tallying the other three-bagger), as well as a double and one home run which gives him clubhouse bragging rights to the most total bases.
While Johnson currently only has the one stolen base, he has been running the bases aggressively from what I have heard and read.
While the White Sox signed Emilio Bonifacio and brought back Gordon Beckham to push the young players like Johnson, Carlos Sanchez and Tyler Saladino, no one expected this much out of the speedster from the University of Indiana.
When he wasn’t busy dethroning Billy Hamilton as the minor’s stolen base king in his breakout 2013 campaign, Johnson showed some gap-power, collecting 46 extra base hits across his three stops below the major league level.
Provided his defense continues to improve, it appears the speedy combination of Johnson and Adam Eaton will be scorching the basepaths at U.S. Cellular Field for years to come, starting at the onset of the much anticipated ’15 season.
I believe this has become Johnson’s job to lose, despite my earlier prediction on the topic. At this point in the spring, it is still not safe to assume jobs being won or lost, but I believe the second base position looks a lot clearer than it did entering camp, with Johnson standing tall among the group Merkin mentioned back in February.
Opening Day is right around the corner, and I would not be surprised if there is a player making his major league debut at second base sporting No. 7 for the Southsiders in Kansas City on April 6.
What do you think, has Johnson won the starting job yet or is it still open?
Let us know what you think!