San Francisco Giants Top 2016 Prospects: #12
#12: Jordan Johnson, RHP, Age 22: Johnson burst onto the scene last summer, ascending from near anonymity to a major name to follow in just a month’s time. I profiled him after a 6-inning, 8-K midseason debut in San Jose. He was consistently throwing 93-96 that night in the Cal League, and popped the mitt at 98 a few times as well. Add in a changeup and slider that had spectators buzzing, and Johnson really announced his presence with a bang.
Jordan is a native of Elk Grove and a very unknown 23rd round pick in 2014 out of Cal State Northridge. His college career was marred by injury, as Tommy John surgery cost him parts of two seasons. He showed enough during his junior year for the Giants to take notice, but only made 3 pro appearances that summer. The organization took it slow with him, keeping him back in extended spring training and debuting him in the AZL when short-season leagues began. Seven appearances later, he was on his way to Salem-Keizer. After only one start there, he was on the move again – this time to San Jose. Between all three stops, Jordan struck out 74 and walked only 13 in 62 innings of work. He made two postseason starts in San Jose as well, allowing 3 ER and striking out 13 over 12 IP.
I decided to lean a bit on the conservative side this winter. In the world of irrelevant offseason rankings (we all love a good list!), it made more sense to keep him out of the top 10 until he has a bit more of a track record. In the real world, however, I can’t think of many arms in the organization I’m more excited to watch this season. Johnson is 6-ft-3 and looks like he could easily fill his 175-lb frame out another 15-20 pounds as he matures. If he proves healthy this year, we could well be looking at a Matt Duffy type sleeper (Big West product, later round draft pick, similar size) with some major impact potential on the mound.