The Tampa Bay Rays took a chance on an electric college arm with little experience on the mound.
Seth Johnson is one of the most interesting players in the 2019 draft due to an electric yet unpolished fastball. Johnson who was playing shortstop a recently as last year, was just selected by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 40th overall pick as a pitcher, not a shortstop.
He adapted to the mound with relative ease while at Campbell University this season after playing shortstop for two years at a junior college. He needs polishing, but he has showed an inmate ability to pitch relatively well with little to no experience. It is fun to imagine what could come with experience. Here is what the Rays got:
Seth Johnson, RHP, Campbell
- 20 years old
- 6’1″ // 200 lbs.
Johnson features a fastball that has touched 98 with an impressive slider. His changeup and curveball still need work, but his delivery is well liked.
Here is what the experts are saying:
"After transferring to Campbell, he has showcased two potential plus pitches and what one scouting director called the best delivery in the 2019 Draft.Johnson has an effortless arm action and delivery, looking very natural on the mound despite his inexperience. The ball comes out of his hand so easily, with his fastball topping out at 98 mph and usually ranging from 91-95. His slider is his best secondary offering, a plus pitch in the mid-80s at its best but also still inconsistent.As would be expected for a newcomer to the mound, Johnson still needs polish. His loopy curveball and his changeup are less reliable than his slider but can become at least average pitches with more experience."
Here is some video from 2080 Baseball:
What stands out most to me about Campbell is his upside. He has shown promise early on with little to no experience and hopefully with some more experience he can really develop into a nice pitcher for the Rays going forward.
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It will be fun to watch Johnson as he develops in the coming years… he could turn into a really exciting pitcher.