Chris Johnson Jekyll or Hyde?
Braves third baseman Chris Johnson has been Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde while playing in Atlanta. He had that great 2013 season when he challenged for the batting title and finished with a .321 average. Followed up by last year’s .263 average and dismal .292 on-base-percentage.
Johnson was among the leaders in strikeouts last season with 159, 43 more than 2013. (He did have 64 more at bats in 2014)
The 2013 Chris Johnson hit the ball solid just about the entire season. He was mostly hitting the ball to right and right center and when the pitchers made mistakes he drove the ball deep to left and left center.
Last season the pitchers were able to tie Johnson up and he hit a lot of little league, cotton candy pop ups to right and right center. The ball often came off his bat like a wiffle ball.
Hopefully new hitting instructor Kevin Seitzer can work magic with Johnson this season. The Braves need him to have a big year, if he can hit up to his potential, Johnson could give Freddie Freeman protection.
Johnson is a durable player who brings some fire to the line-up. He can be a leader in the clubhouse and has had the knack for saying the right things since day one.
Unfortunately, he was one of the main culprits in last season’s nosedive. We’ll see if he can be one of the main reasons that 2015 is a successful season. If not, don’t be surprised to see him in another uniform by August 1.