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  • Twins Daily Draft Preview: Termarr Johnson

    Jeremy Nygaard

    It might be wishful thinking, hoping that Termarr Johnson falls to the Twins at #8. But if he did, would it be possible to pass on a player that Baseball America says is, "one of the most advanced pure hitters to come out of high school since... Joe Mauer"?

    I think not.

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    Who Is He?
    Termarr Johnson is a prep infielder from Mays High School in Atlanta, Georgia. While it is likely that Johnson is drafted as a shortstop, his future home is expedited to be second base. A bit undersized (5' 8", 195), you're not buying the Arizona State commit for his glove. You're getting him because you believe that his left-handed bat is as good as advertised. And it is one of the most advertised tools in all of the draft.

    Why the Twins Will Draft Him
    The Twins have taken bat-first players a few times under the leadership of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. Termarr Johnson is a high-ceiling bat first player. MLB.com wrote that "one scout gave him a double Hall of Famer comparison by calling him a combination of Wade Boggs' plate discipline and Vladimir Guerrero Sr.'s bat-to-ball skills." Such lofty comparisons are really unfair, but that should give you an idea of the type of ceiling that you'd get by drafting Johnson.

    It would be easy to peg a smaller guy as a slap hitter, but that's not Johnson either. Baseball America sums it all up by saying that Johnson "has the rare amateur combination of excellent bat-to-ball skills, an advanced approach at the plate, impressive pitch recognition and more power than you’d expect given his frame, thanks to excellent bat speed and precise barrel accuracy." MLB.com suggests that 25-30 home runs is a possibility. Could you even imagine? 

    Why the Twins Won't Draft Him
    In the Collier profile, I wrote that the Twins wouldn't draft Collier only if he's gone or if a higher-rated prospect fell to them. It's completely my opinion, but I think Johnson might be the only (possibly available) player ranked higher than Collier. Sure, Druw Jones and Jackson Holliday are universally ranked higher, but the chances of either of them falling are slim to none. The chance of Johnson falling is certainly slim, but there is an avenue to where it happens. 

    The other thing that should be mentioned is that that Johnson just committed to Arizona State recently. It's not unusual for highly-rated prep prospects to be committed to a college, but that usually happens much earlier in the high school career. I'm not questioning his signability. I think it's a 99.99% chance he goes pro. Maybe his representation suggested he commit to give him some leverage, I don't know. 

    How highly do you rank Johnson?


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    Yes, wishful thinking.  But there are always surprises in the early picks so just maybe someone falls.  I was interested to see that Law now has Collier ranked second, and Neto 10, Cross 11, and Williams 12.  And, in his mock, he has Collier falling to the Twins.  I can't say I agree with his mock, but boy would that be great.  It is clear that Neto and Williams have a lot of helium.  Gosh, will this be a fun draft!


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    I'd love Johnson to fall to the Twins. I love contact ability with zone control. Hitting is all about swinging at good pitches and getting your barrel on the ball. Those are Johnson's strengths. While I'd love him to be able to stay at SS, I'd be more than happy with him replacing Jorge in a few years at 2B and mashing. Khalil Watson fell to 16 last year, so maybe Johnson will fall to 8 this year?

    Although, the baseball, not Twins, fan side of me would like to see him go to Miami so they run out Watson at SS and Johnson at 2B. I want a picture of 6'7" Oneil Cruz on 2B after a double standing between 5'9" Watson and 5'8" Johnson.

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