When the 2019 baseball season began for Ivan Johnson he was playing at Chipola Junior College down in Florida. After hitting .381/.491/.587 in 189 at-bats as a sophomore the Cincinnati Reds selected the infielder in the 4th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft.

Once he was drafted the Reds sent the then 20-year-old to join their affiliate in the Appalachian League, the Greeneville Reds. The short-season started on June 18th and Ivan Johnson played in seven games through the end of the month. He struggled a bit early on, hitting just .194 with nine strikeouts in 34 plate appearances.

Things picked up in July with a 5-game hitting streak to start the month. After going hitless in the two games that followed, he would run off another hit streak. The next one was an 8-game hit streak and it included six extra-base hits. Ivan Johnson closed out the month with a big game, going 3-3 with a double, walk, and a home run. Over the 21 games played in July he hit .259/.344/.424 with 11 walks and 17 strikeouts.

The start of August went well for Johnson. Splitting his time between shortstop and second base, the infielder hit .364/.432/.576 over the first 10 days of the month. That included a 2-home run game against Pulaski on the 10th. Things did slow down over the final two weeks, though. In 10 games over that span he hit just .205/.244/.410. For the month he would hit .278/.333/.486 for Greeneville over 18 games played. That included three doubles and four home runs as the power started to show up down the stretch.

For all 2019 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Ivan Johnson Video

Ivan Johnson Spray Chart

Please be sure to note the sample sizes in the charts below. As a short-season player who is also a switch hitter, a few hits can really swing the AVG/SLG/IsoP lines quite a bit.

Spray Chart as a Left-Handed Hitter

Spray Chart as a Right-Handed Hitter

Total Spray Chart

Ivan Johnson Scouting Report

Position: Shortstop/Second Base | B/T: S/R

Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 190 lbs | Drafted: 4th Round, 2019

Born: October 11, 1998

Hitting | As a switch hitter, Johnson shows a little bit from each side of the plate. He grades out as a future average hitter from both the left and right sides of the plate.

Power | His in-game power jumped up in 2019 after adding muscle to his frame after 2018. Some scouts have labeled his power as average, though you will get some who suggest his raw power has plus potential.

Running | He’s got above-average speed.

Arm | He’s got an average arm that plays at both shortstop of second base.

Defense | He’s got the ability to handle shortstop or second base, though he projects a little better at second.

Coming out of the draft the scouting reports leaned a little more towards Ivan Johnson being a second baseman than a shortstop, and that he was merely an average runner. After seeing him play he was faster than that and looked better at shortstop than the pre-draft reports. It’s possible he still winds up moving off of shortstop in the future in favor of second base, but right now he’s fully capable of handling the position.

The bat is what is intriguing with Ivan Johnson. If he can tap into some of his raw power and remain a shortstop, he could jump up the prospect rankings rather quickly. With that said, it’s not quite there yet, though he did show more power as the season went along. There was more power from the left side than the right side during his pro debut.

He’s got a quick bat, and he can use the entire field – but in 2019 with Greeneville those two things didn’t lead to him hitting for much of an average. The sample size was small, but .255 is a number you’d like to see him improve upon. His hit tool is better than that if it develops. As it is with most 20-year-olds (Johnson turned 21 after the season), there’s development that needs to happen. But there’s a little more upside with Ivan Johnson’s bat than with some other players this far down the list.

Longest Home Run of the Year

439 Feet on August 22nd.

Interesting Stat on Ivan Johnson

He hit .323/.371/.508 against pitchers that were younger than he was on the season.

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7 Responses

  1. Oldtimer

    Decent first year in MiLB. He’s 21 so hopefully he can move through Reds MiLB system quickly. If he progresses, maybe Red by 2022. Or 2023 at the latest.

    PS he had signed to play at South Carolina (I think).

    • Doug Gray

      Georgia. And he did play there as a freshman. Then he transferred.

      • Oldtimer

        Ivan Johnson
        Verified account

        Follow Follow @IvanTheGreatXI
        Blessed to announce that I’ll be continuing my baseball and academic career at The University of South Carolina!!

      • Doug Gray

        I believe we’re talking two different things here. He went to Georgia out of high school. After his freshman year he transferred to Chipola in 2019. Reds drafted him. I’m guessing he was planning to go to SC if he wasn’t drafted/didn’t sign.

      • Oldtimer

        He signed with South Carolina in the spring. Then he was drafted by the Reds.

        I think Tyler Callihan was also South Carolina signee before being drafted by Reds.

  2. Wes

    When will reds have to make a decision to keep/cut peraza ? And when does it come out what he will make next year ? I’ve seen 3 mil and 5 mil….

    • Doug Gray

      They have until December 2nd to decided to tender/non-tender. We don’t know what he’ll make next year – though the MLB Trade Rumors arbitration prediction model has been pretty accurate in the past and has him at $3.6M. Assuming they bring him back, which isn’t an overwhelmingly strong assumption, we’ll find out in February what he makes this next season (unless they can agree to a deal for 2020 prior to going to arbitration).