Back in December we took a look at “The Curious Case Of Elliot Johnson“. We examined how far he had fallen on the prospect board in only one season, noting that it was “not too late for Johnson to reclaim his semi-elite status” but that he was in danger of becoming a “journeyman minor leaguer”.

With Ben Zobrist on the DL for the first week of the season, it is now a foregone conclusion that Elliot Johnson will make the roster as the Rays backup-everything-especially-short-and-center guy. Even more amazing is with Willy Aybar still nursing a sore hamstring, Johnson may now be the Rays opening day starter at third base…

.207-11-45, .285 OBP, .626 OPS

Those are the numbers that Elliot Johnson posted last year at AAA Durham. They don’t exactly scream “major leaguer waiting to happen”. In fact that OPS was the 5th worst in AAA in 2007.

Not ranked

That is where Elliot Johnson was found in our Meta-Analysis of Rays Top Prospects in which we looked at the Rays top 14 prospects from several different sources.

Not Ranked

That is where Elliot Johnson was found in the RaysBB Top 25 prospects list which polled numerous members of the Rays blogosphere including us (We actually had Johnson #16 in the list we submitted for RaysBB).

.440-1-8, .482 OBP, 1.082 OPS

Amazing what a month will do. Those are Elliot Johnson’s spring training numbers. In addition, he showed Joe Maddon that he is at least passable at several different positions, playing second, short, third and the outfield at different points during the spring.

We would have been less surprised if Edwin Jackson pitched 23 consecutive innings without a walk.



  1. Scott says:

    Count me in with you on that one, Cork. I believe I called him the "next player DFA'd" in a November or December post if the Rays needed to free up a roster spot.

  2. Ben says:

    Mike piazza is still on the market, do you think the Rays would give him a chance to be that veteran catcher to mentor navi and our young pitching staff? I know he didn't catch last season, i think he just DH'd, but the year before that he called 83 games. Or is he just to old and his knee's to non-existent to be worth it.

  3. The Professor says:

    Piazza was never a very good defensive catcher. The Mets tried to get him to move to another position for several years before he finally tried first base and sucked more there so they moved him back.

    But as far as being a veteran presence for Navi, he couldnt be any worse than Riggans and Piazza at least offers something at the plate.

    It's not a ridiculous idea. but prolly won't happen

  4. Ben says:

    I just read some where that his salary for last year was like close to 9 mil, so that'd probably be too much for not alot.


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