Micah Johnson is going to be fun to watch.
Making his BB&T BallPark debut, Charlotte’s newest addition finished the night 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, a run scored and an RBI in the Knights’ 4-3 win against the Norfolk Tides on Tuesday night.
Johnson, who is ranked by MLB.com as the White Sox No. 3 prospect, was called up from Class AA Birmingham on May 13 and had appeared in six games before Tuesday.
In Norfolk on Sunday, his home-to-first time on a ground ball to second was recorded as 3.69 seconds by a scout. There are scouts who go their entire careers without clocking a time better than 3.8 seconds.
Johnson, 23, a switch hitter, put that speed on display for the 9,510 in attendance in the fifth inning Tuesday, when he turned an RBI ground ball up the middle into a double.
“Obviously, he’s a top of the lineup type of guy with his abilities,” Knights manager Joel Skinner said of Johnson, who stole 84 bases last season.
“When he gets on base, he’s a guy that creates havoc. He’s aggressive. Tonight you saw the ground-ball single he hit up the middle that turned into a double.”
Equally impressive was the way Johnson handled the at-bat against Norfolk ace – and Baltimore Orioles No. 2 prospect – Kevin Gausman (0-2, 2.90 ERA).
Johnson came to the plate with two outs, Blake Tekotte on second and the Knights trailing 3-0. Johnson quickly fell behind 0-2.
He fouled the next pitch off and took the next two to even the count. Gauseman’s next pitch was a 96-mph fastball up and in and Johnson barely fouled it off.
“He kept trying to throw fastballs inside and I was just trying to battle at that point,” he said. “He throws pretty hard, so I was trying to make contact, foul off the tough ones and then hopefully get a pitch I could handle.”
After running the count full, Johnson sent another fastball right back up the middle to get the Knights on the board.
The hit led to the first of four runs Charlotte would score in the inning, including Josh Phegley’s two-run home run.
After revealing his home-to-first time, Johnson had some fun with reporters after the game, saying, “I don’t really know what that means or anything.”
He knows what it means and so do the White Sox.
DP–Charlotte 1. LOB–Norfolk 6, Charlotte 5. 2B–Jesus, Tekotte, Johnson. HR—Ward, Phegley. CS—Lombardozzi, Mitchell. PO—Lombardozzi, Mitchell.
|Gausman L, 0-2||5.0||6||4||4||1||6|
|Surkamp W, 2-2||6.0||7||3||3||0||8|
|Veal S, 1||1.1||0||0||0||0||0|
WP-Bell. HBP-Wallace (by Veal). T-2:55. A-9,510.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less