KJ had an odd rookie season. He started off destroying the International League and was called up and inserted into the lineup when the Mondesi Nightmare finally ended. He slumps, he stars, he slumps, he gets nailed to the bench. At the end of play, he wound up with a wholly unsatisfying .241/.334/.397 line. He was hitless in his first five games, then got a single, then was hitless the next six games. All along, he was drawing walks; after five games, Johnson’s OBP was .250. Played well in late June and early July, peaking at .268/.388/.465. Then he went into another slump, and by the time he came out of it Francoeur was up. Played well in August (his best month, .282/.378/.423) but Langerhans was playing better, particularly defensively, and took his AB. He had only 17 AB in September, eight of them after the Braves clinched, and was limited to pinch-hit duty in the playoffs.

He’s just an odd player. He’s very selective as a hitter, or at least walks a whole lot. At the same time, he had trouble with some strikes and simply wasn’t able to drive them. A lefthanded hitter who runs well, but grounded into 11 double plays. I thought he actually looked best very early on, when he was slumping. He made very good contact (he only struck out twice in his first twelve games), hit some balls hard, was drawing a ton of walks. He just wasn’t lucky at all. After that, he got more aggressive, but at times looked overmatched. I’ll be honest. I have no idea where this is going. He could be a minor star, he could be a solid regular, he could wash completely out of the game. I think that if he plays every day he can match that August line, maybe adding more power as time goes on, peaking at .300/.420/.500 for a couple of years. Bobby Abreu Lite.

He’s an odd defensive player too. Started out as a shortstop, moved to the outfield because he was an even worse fielder than Wilson Betemit. Had fairly spectacular defensive stats in left field, but I tend to think that’s some sort of glitch. He looked pretty bad at times but I don’t think he’s a bad defender overall. Certainly he’s better than Chipper. Throws okay for a left fielder, but probably not good enough for right. He got into some games at short and third for Richmond but was used exclusively in left in Atlanta… Weird baserunner as well, stolen base stats are all over the place. Last season he was 7-8 in Richmond and 2-3 in Atlanta. But in 2004 he was 9-18 in Greenville, coming off of a 10-13 season there the year before. In 2002 he was 12-27 in Myrtle Beach, but in 2001 was 25-31 in Macon. I don’t get it.

Kelly Johnson Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com