Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tampa Bay Rays: Elliot Johnson 2B #43

40 Rays 40 Days

Elliot Johnson
2B #43
HT:6'0 WT:185

The Dish: Elliot Johnson was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2002. He's made a steady progression through the Rays' minor leagues since 2002. By 2005 he was at Advanced Class A Visalia and was promoted to AA Montgomery during the season. He was one of eight minor leaguers to hit 10 home runs and steal 40 bases that year. He was named the Cal Leagues faster runner by Baseball America. Johnson spent all of 2006 at AA Montgomery as the starting 2B for the Southern League Champion Biscuits. Johnson showed an increase in power, hitting 13 home runs in 108 games but only stealing 15 bases and hitting .272/.324/.440. He was promoted to AAA Durham in 2007 and spent the entire season as the Bulls 2B. Johnson, however did not produce at all. He hit just .207 for the Bulls and did not impress.

2007 Numbers:(AAA Durham) 207/.285/.341 with 11 home runs in 129 games

Jules Fantast Impact: Once again...none

Role for '08: Johnson was expected to go through spring training quietly and report to AAA for another season. He's awful numbers last year did not warrant much more. However, Johnson literally exploded onto the national scene for his home plate collision with Yankees C prospect Francisco Cervelli. Jonhson was an over night celebrity, drawing the back page of the three major metro newspapers in New York as well as becoming the central figure in a war of words between Yankees and Rays coaches and fans. Once the dust settles down Johnson will go back to AAA and be the 2B again. He could receive a callup if one of the Rays IF is injured.

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