One of the signings that didn't get much attention last week was the Diamondbacks getting second baseman Kelly Johnson. It's not one of the biggest signings, but fantasy players should take note. Johnson is one of those players that will be dismissed quickly when last season's stats are taken into account.
He will go very late in mixed league drafts and might not be drafted in many mocks right now. Johnson is coming off a horrible season where he hit .224 with 47 runs, eight home runs, 29 RBIs and seven stolen bases. He had a .303 on-base percentage and a .692 OPS. Johnson had injuries and Martin Prado outplayed him to take over full-time at second base for the Braves.
So why should we care about Johnson in 2010? One, he will cost very little. He's 27 years old and moves to a hitter friendly ball park in Arizona. He has shown the skills to succeed before. In 2007, he batted .276 with 91 runs, 16 home runs, 68 RBIs, nine stolen bases, a .375 OBP and a .831 OPS. The next season he hit .287 with 86 runs, 12 home runs, 69 RBIs, 11 stolen bases, a .349 OBP and a .795 OPS.
As for some of the good things we can take away from last season, his strikeout rate declined and an unlucky .249 BABIP helps explain the terrible batting average. He had a .330 BABIP in 2007 and a .344 BABIP in 2008, so expect his average to jump significantly. His career BABIP is .313.
Johnson could go 15-15 and possibly exceed that and he won't cost you much at all. Make sure you don't forget him late in drafts. You could plug him in at the middle infield spot and he could be a real bargain.
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