The Braves' 2006 1st round pick continued to mash the ball at full season Low-A Rome hitting .252 with 26 HR 89 RBI and 62 runs scored. Johnson has a long, projectible frame that promises to add more bulk as he ages. His big lefthanded swing generates awesome torque that lofts the ball out of any part of the ballpark. The downside of a big swing is the proclivity to have exploitable holes and Johnson's hack is no exception. Last season, Cody struck out an alarming 177 times in 127 games while drawing just 40 walks. Defensively, Johnson has made some positive strides as an outfielder, though he should be strictly limited to LF as a pro. The Braves knew when they drafted Cody that he was going to be a long-term project, but they are pleased by the early returns on their investment. In time, Johnson could develop into a prolific power hitter in the mold of Adam Dunn or a cataclysmic bust a la Rick Elder.
2009 Projection: Cody will start the '09 season at High-A Myrtle Beach, which should provide a good challenge for him. Of course, the numbers to watch are the K's. Johnson will always rack up big strikeout numbers, but the hope for him is to limit them to a level that is closer to a one per game average. If he can turn 20-30 of his K's into walks, Johnson has the potential to be a .270-.280 hitter with 30+ HR potential at the major league level. It seems a bit irrational to call 2009 a make or break season for Cody, especially since he will be just 20 years old for most of it, but the amount of outfield depth in Atlanta's farm system could rapidly pass him by if he continues to struggle.
Key Cody Johnson Baseball Cards:
- 2006 Bowman Originals
- 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft AFLAC Redemption
- 2006 Bowman Chrome Draft Auto
- 2006 Bowman Sterling Auto
- 2007 Bowman Prospects Auto