Draft Spotlight: SS Osiris Johnson

Blaine Clemmens
Northern California Director of Scouting

There are few schools in the Bay Area with more renown for producing GREAT baseball talents than Encinal HS on the island of Alameda. MVP and Hall of Famer Willie Stargell, Rookie of the Year Dontrelle Willis, and MVP and multiple Gold Glove Award winner Jimmy Rollins are all proud Jets' alumni. Not only were all three great players with a wealth of individual accomplishments, each of them are World Series champions and MLB All-Stars.

Without putting TOO much pressure on him, possibly following in their footsteps is shortstop Osiris Johnson, who is a second cousin of the aforementioned Rollins. Not only are they family, but Rollins has also been a part of Johnson's development. Watching Johnson, as I did in the early spring in a game against Berkeley HS, and it's clear that he has an abundance of tools. As it is with just about all high school shortstops, the question is always, 'can he stay at the position.'

A Cal-State Fullerton signee, it remains to be seen if either a pro organization or the Titans will give him a shot to stay on the dirt. When I went to see him play, I saw a player with a plus arm (he easily gets in the 90s on the mound), fast feet, and enthusiasm for playing the position. He does have some things to clean up, but so do most high school shortstops. If he signs out of high school, the fair assumption would be that he has informed teams that he wants to be given a chance to develop at shortstop. Lots of big leaguers, including both Upton's and Adam Jones were drafted as shortstops and obviously ended up in the outfield. Time will tell.

The reason this speculation even exists is because Johnson has an abundance of offensive tools and is an electrifying player. He has elite bat speed and life in his hands/wrists. He is a plus runner and projects to also have above average power. His team is still active in the section playoffs, with a 2nd round game today, and they will lean on Johnson to carry them. And carry the Jets is what he has done. For the season he has posted a .542 average (94 plate appearances, 83 at-bats), with 30 runs, 24 RBI, 15 2B, 2 3B, and 6 long balls. Though he has only eight walks, he has also struck out only five times. On the bases he is 16/17 in stolen bases. This is a talented kid who has dominated his level of competition, which is always good to see. Often times prospects have tools and get a pass on their production. He has produced.

Let’s take a closer look at Osiris Johnson.

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