White Sox: Meet Day 2 Picks from the 2017 MLB Draft
5th Round, 147th Overall – Tyler Johnson, RHP, South Carolina
Tyler Johnson went from pitching only 7 2/3 innings as a freshman in 2013 to emerging as the closer of the South Carolina Gamecocks. Over the past two seasons the right hander had 19 saves to go with 99 strikeouts over 78 1/3 innings. Like Henzman, the White Sox announced Johnson as a starting pitcher. But that doesn’t mean much.
His fastball can reach 99 mph but it usually sits between 92-97. Some scouts feel he can handle pitching every fifth day but with his velocity, he can definitely handle late innings. His fastball doesn’t have much movement, but he has great command.
His second-best pitch is a slider that he can throw at around 85. However, it’s not always on. Johnson was ranked as the 97th best player in the draft. He does throw a changeup but doesn’t use it much as a reliever. However, if he wants to have a chance at the rotation, he needs to develop that third pitch.
"“Johnson has big, big stuff. His stuff is better than Lincoln’s. Lincoln has a little bit more feel and pitchability, but Tyler has the mechanics that can start. He just needs to be stretched out. He had a long little layoff from an injury and came back guns ablazing.” Nick Hostetler, Director of Amateur Scouting"