With the deadline for their final draft-and-follow class looming Wednesday night, the Tigers have agreed to terms with one of their 2006 draftees. Brandon Johnson, a sophomore right-hander at Butler Community College in Kansas signed with Detroit late on Tuesday, eschewing a commitment to Western Illinois in the process.
"We're extremely excited for him," said Butler coach Steve Johnson. "He is an outstanding young man who is definitely a work-in-progress, but he continues to mature and we hope he'll continue to do that with the Tigers."
Johnson's better days should be ahead of him. He has a loose, lanky frame that scouts always love to see and at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, he gets good movement on his fastball that sits in the 88-89 range, but touches 91. Johnson also throws a slider and a changeup, both of which are developing and need more consistency, although he made significant progress with his slider this spring.
For the year, Johnson went 8-3 with a 4.23 ERA in 14 starts. In 68 innings, he allowed 69 hits, walked 22, and fanned 57.
Given the work he needs on his secondary pitches, he would be a candidate to be with the GCL Tigers this summer.