The Toronto Blue Jays selected the son of bullpen coach Dane Johnson with their 30th round selection in the 2018 amateur draft and for anyone who thought the pick was a favour or charity pick are sadly mistaken.
When the Blue Jays selected Cobi Johnson 896th over in this past draft, it was actually the third time the young hurler had been drafted by an MLB team. Johnson was previously drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 35th round (2014) and by the Los Angeles Angels in the 29th round (2017) of the amateur draft before the Blue Jays ever called his name.
Johnson signed with the Jays for a cool $125,000 and was assigned to the Single-A short-season Vancouver Canadians to begin his professional career. The big right-hander did not disappoint in his rookie campaign pitching out fo the bullpen for Vancouver. The 6’4″ hurler features a mid-nineties four-seamer complimented by a curve and change-up to round out his arsenal.
The 22-year old made 20 appearances pitching in relief allowing only five earned runs in 26 innings of work. Johnson sported a minuscule 1.73 earned run average while fanning 35 batters for an impressive 12.1 SO/9 clip. The rookie also slammed the door saving 10 games for the first place Canadians.
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Johnson was also one of three players to represent the Canadians at the Northwest League midsummer classic earlier in the season. So much for being drafted because your father was employed by the team.
The elder Johnson has been the Jays bullpen coach since 2015 after making 63 appearances on the bump during his playing career for the Jays, Athletics and White Sox. Johnson was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 2nd round of the 1984 amateur draft, the same round that John Farrell, Al Leiter, Tom Glavine, and Greg Maddux were all selected in. The 55-year old Johnson sports a career 4.70 earned run average that includes a 3.00 earned run average in 10 appearances with Toronto in 1996.
The young Johnson could follow in his father’s footsteps rather quickly if he keeps posting stat lines like he did in 2018. No favours here folks, just good bloodlines.