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SoxProspects News

October 25, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Top 40 Season in Review: Alex Wilson, Brian Johnson

#14 Alex Wilson, RHP
2012 Team: Pawtucket Red Sox
Final Stats: 5-3, 72 2/3 IP, 3.72 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 33 BB, 78 K

2012 Prospect Preview
The Book: Alex Wilson 
Wilson groomed to help 'pen
PawSox Notebook: Wilson records first professional save

2012 Season in Review: Long-projected to be destined for a relief role, Wilson was moved to the bullpen full time after his third start of the season at a time the Boston bullpen found itself in a state of disorder. However, the Red Sox relief corps soon straightened itself out, and Wilson found himself in Pawtucket for the rest of the season adjusting to his new role. In 37 appearances after the move, the 2009 second-rounder had a 3.36 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 59 innings. Some of the excitement was tempered by a career-high walk rate, as Wilson issued over four free passes per nine innings. Scouting reports also indicated that Wilson's stuff did not play up in a relief role as much as was expected.

2013 Outlook: Wilson will be Rule 5 eligible this offseason, but he will almost certainly be added to the 40-man roster next month to prevent his selection. Wilson will go to Fort Myers next spring with an outside shot to win one of the last spots in the bullpen, competing against several other hard-throwing right-handers. Even if he loses out, Wilson will almost certainly make his debut in Boston at some point during the season. Heading into his age 26 season, Wilson does not profile as a future star, but has the stuff to contribute as a set-up man on a contender.


#13 Brian Johnson, LHP
2012 Team: Lowell Spinners
2012 Stats: 5 2/3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 BB, 4 K

Red Sox select Brian Johnson with 31st pick 
Brian Johnson hit in face with liner

2012 Season in Review: The #31 overall pick in June's draft out of the University of Florida, Johnson was off to an impressive start to his professional career. The 6-foot-3 left-hander, a two-way star with the Gators, was dominant in his first three starts for Lowell, allowing only two hits in 5 2/3 innings. This earned Johnson the start at the annual Futures at Fenway event, where disaster struck - the second pitch of the game was a line drive back up the middle that struck Johnson in the face, breaking his orbital bone and ending his season. Johnson is expected to recover fully and should be ready for camp next spring - he is at the Fall Instructional League finishing up his rehab, although he is not pitching.

2013 Outlook: Before his injury, many on the SoxProspects staff believed Johnson would be challenged by starting his first full season with a placement in High A Salem. Instead, the Red Sox may want to get Johnson some early season success and make sure he has no lingering psychological effects by giving him the easier assignment to Greenville. The stuff Johnson showed in his limited time at Lowell should continue to give hitters trouble in the South Atlantic League, and it would be reasonable to expect a healthy Johnson to appear in Salem by mid-season.

Photo credit: Alex Wilson and Brian Johnson by Dave Letizi