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Sunday, August 7, 2022

Brian Johnson initially bypassed pros for college; Saw five pro seasons later, made AAA

Taken by the Blue Jays out of Westfield High School in Houston, Brian Johnson chose college and the University of Texas.

That choice came even after the Blue Jays offered the catcher $100,000 to sign, The Austin American-Statesman wrote later.

"I felt I was too young for professional baseball," Johnson told The American-Statesman after helping Texas another conference title in 1988. "I didn't want to get stranded on a bus. I was too immature."

When he did turn pro, the Indians came calling. He ended up playing five professional seasons. He topped out at AAA.

Johnson's career began that year in 1988, taken by the Indians in the second round of the draft out of Texas. The Blue Jays had selected him three years earlier in the ninth round.

With the Indians, Johnson started at single-A Kinston and rookie Burlington, though he saw brief time. He played in 13 total games and hit .364.

He returned to Kinston for 1989. He hit .226 in 68 games. The catcher got ejected in a June 1989 game after arguing a call on a play at the plate.

At Kinston, then high-A, in 1990, he hit .242 in 80 games, with nine home runs. He hit one of his home runs in a June win, a two-run shot.

Johnson made the jump to AAA Colorado Springs in 1990. He saw 21 games and hit .340. He then returned to Colorado Springs in 1992. He saw 69 games and hit .281 to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,994
Made the Majors:1,329-33.3%
Never Made Majors:2,665-66.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:544
10+ Seasons in the Minors:329

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