Chicago White Sox: Will Micah Johnson resemble Jarrod Dyson?

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While many in the camp of the Chicago White Sox are talking about Chris Sale’s foot injury, I keep referencing back to the second base position.

While I realize Micah Johnson has more ability long-term than Jarrod Dyson, could he provide the White Sox lineup with a Dyson-like effect in 2015?

Dyson plays the outfield and has great range, and Johnson is an infielder, but is the fastest player on the White Sox roster.

With great speed at the bottom of the lineup, it should provide a bit of a second leadoff hitter for the White Sox. I understand that Johnson may not hit .300 this season, but even if he hits .260 he would be an asset to the ball club.

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Johnson provides something that very few other MLB players provide, elite speed.

He reportedly runs a 4.4 40-yard dash, meaning he is fast enough to play wide receiver in the NFL. While lead-off hitter Adam Eaton is fast, if a chopper is hit back up the middle and either a second baseman or shortstop gets to it … he is most likely out by a half-step. Not the same case with Johnson, who would beat it out.

Assuming he reaches base, Johnson’s speed alone will distract pitchers while the top of the order bats. With Eaton, Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu coming up at the top of the order, it could produce excellent results and more runs for the White Sox.

It isn’t just stolen bases with Johnson, when a speed burner gets on base, a pitcher will more fastballs and his command lessens. That means more hittable fastballs and breaking ball up in the zone for the top of the White Sox order.

Long term, I believe Johnson may end up a lead-off hitter, just due to his speed. If he can hit for a high enough average, Johnson could become an elite leadoff hitter, possibly resembling Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds.

When he develops his technique and ability to read pitches, Johnson could steal 40-50 bags per year.

Johnson’s speed makes him the likely second base for the next few years. If he can hit for a .290+ average, he has a chance to be an All-Star.

The main question though is what can he do this season? Due to the fact that he is a rookie, and there is a learning curve for most rookies at the MLB level, he will be a bottom of the order bat.

Regardless, once Johnson is on first base, he is in scoring position, meaning the White Sox offense is that much better with him in it this season.

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