Johnson got off to a tremendous start, hitting .313 with 9 HR and 18 RBI in April. After that, he fell off a cliff, hitting .240 with 4 HR and 17 RBI in May and June.
He’s seemingly getting hot again, hitting .329 with 3 HR and 14 RBI thus far in July.
So, which player is he really? Is he the superstar he was in April, or is he closer to the player he was in May and June?
The power was an aberration, and that should be crystal clear at this point. He had never shown that type of power in the past and he benefited from a 33.3% HR/FB rate in April. Compare that to his 10.3% career mark (and current 15.0% overall) and you get the point.
He has also gotten a boost from his home ballpark, where he has hit 11 of his 16 home runs. Take him out of that ballpark and a lot could change.
The power surge may have helped add to his strikeout total, currently at 24.5%. He was below that the prior two years (20.7% and 17.8%), so there is hope that he could improve there.
An improvement there would certainly help if his luck turns. Not that he has been overly lucky, but his .323 BABIP easily could fall.
What’s the bottom line? The power was an aberration to begin with and taking him out of Arizona certainly wouldn’t help. Granted, he’s done a great job of getting on base and scoring runs (60 on the year).
As long as he goes somewhere that he will remain hitting near the top of the order (he’s spent 322 AB either first or second), his value should remain the same, just don’t go looking for the power to return.
Then again, the idea of him hitting atop an order seems somewhat remote.
What are your thoughts on Johnson? Will he continue to hold value if traded? Does he have value even if he stays in Arizona?
Make sure to check out our trade deadline analysis:
- Yunel Escober for Alex Gonzalez
- Alberto Callaspo traded to the Angels
- Dan Haren traded to the Angels
- Jhonny Peralta to the Tigers
- Scott Podsednik to the Dodgers