July 3, 2015 at 10:37 AM
Brian Johnson (pictured) is the lone Pawtucket Red Sox player to be named to the International League All-Star team. Johnson will face all-stars from the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All-Star Game to be played on July 15 in Omaha, Neb.
Johnson has had an outstanding season, and recently moved up from seventh to fifth in the rankings here at SoxProspects.com. The left-hander has put up a 2.68 ERA in 80 2/3 innings during his first season with the PawSox. He has 76 strikeouts to just 24 walks, a 1.08 WHIP, and batters are hitting a measly .214 against him. His stuff is not overpowering, but he has been very consistent by controlling the strike zone, especially with his off-speed pitches, and curveball in particular.
Johnson has moved right up the ladder in the Red Sox system after being drafted in the first round out of the University of Florida, pitching well at each level. He spent last April in Salem, where he made five starts, but was quickly called up to Double-A and dominated the rest of the way. He went 10-2 with a 1.75 ERA in 118 innings for the Sea Dogs in 2014. His efforts in Portland earned him an Eastern League All-Star selection as well.
The 24-year-old was named the Red Sox minor league Pitcher of the Year by the team in 2014, as well as the SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Year. There was a little bit of a scare during his last start on June 29 when he threw just five pitches and exited the game, but it turned out to be nothing more than an illness. There is certainly a chance we could see Johnson up in the majors at some point in the near future.
Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles will also be on the International League coaching staff after leading the PawSox to the 2014 Governor's Cup Championship.
Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was in the lead of the fan vote for a majority of the early season, but is currently in the big leagues. He was hitting .320/.397/.466 in 52 games for Pawtucket.
Photo Credit: Brian Johnson by Kelly O'Connor