Tuesday June 26, 2012UF Baseball's Brian Johnson Inks Deal With Boston Red Sox
Left-hander/designated hitter Brian Johnson (Cocoa Beach, Fla.), a member of the 2012 Gator baseball team, signed with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday and will forgo his final year of eligibility at the University of Florida. He had been taken at No. 31 overall in the first round by the Red Sox.
A first-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and Perfect Game, Johnson was a second-team All-American by Baseball America and Louisville Slugger. He is one of three finalists for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year that will be presented this weekend in Lubbock, Texas. Chosen first-team All-SEC for the past two seasons, he was 8-5 with a 3.90 earned run average on the mound and had 73 strikeouts in 90 innings, to go along with a .307 clip, 41 RBI, 24 runs, 13 doubles and six homers.
The southpaw tossed his first career complete game to oust fourth-ranked South Carolina from the SEC Tourney on May 25 and matched his career high with four hits in the semifinal round the following day against Vanderbilt. He was named to the 2012 SEC All-Tournament Team at both pitcher and designated hitter.
During the NCAA Gainesville Regional, Johnson limited the high-powered Georgia Tech offense to one run on three hits over five innings on June 3 as the Gators cruised to a 15-3 victory over the Jackets to punch their fourth-straight ticket to Super Regionals. Johnson batted .429 (3-for-7) in the sweep of No. 11 NC State and tied the second encounter with the Wolfpack with a solo homer in the eighth inning of Floridaís eventual 9-8 triumph in 10 innings.
In 2011, Johnson was a semifinalist for both the John Olerud Award and the Dick Howser Trophy and was chosen to the Watch List for the Golden Spikes Award. The dual threat was 8-3 with a 3.62 ERA in 79.2 innings. He appeared in 16 games, with 15 starts, registered 72 strikeouts and permitted 15 walks and had a .307 average with 29 RBI, 26 runs, 21 walks, 11 doubles and five homers. He started in all 10 SEC series and was 4-3 with a 4.67 ERA in 54 innings, notching 43 strikeouts. Johnson hit .330 in league play with 12 runs, 12 RBI, 10 walks and five doubles.
During his rookie season in 2010, Johnson was chosen as a Freshman All-American by Baseball America, Louisville Slugger, NCBWA and Yahoo! Sports and he made the SECís All-Freshman Team as both a starting pitcher and at designated hitter. Over 16 appearances on the mound, including 14 starts, the left-hander was 6-4 with a 4.03 ERA and totaled 51 strikeouts in 73.2 innings. He was the Gatorsí designated hitter in 27 games and batted .405 (34-for-84) with 21 RBI, 13 runs, nine walks, five doubles, four homers and two grand slams. The lefty was 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA in nine league starts and batted .362 (17-for-47) in 16 SEC contests. He was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on April 5 and again on May 3 and led the Orange and Blue with a .500 (14-for-28) postseason average and hit .474 (9-for-19) with seven RBI in five NCAA Tourney games. Johnson was tabbed as the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Gainesville Regional after going 5-for-8 (.625) at the plate and twirling seven shutout innings in the championship game. He Went 3-for-5 with a leadoff homer in the third inning against Florida Atlantic and limited the Owls to six hits in seven shutout innings.
Johnson will depart Gainesville with a pitching record of 22-12 (.647) in 49 appearances and 46 starts covering 243.1 innings. He compiled an ERA of 3.85 and totaled 196 strikeouts. At the plate, Johnson hit .324 with 91 RBI, 63 runs, 41 walks, 29 doubles, 15 homers and three triples. He had a fielding percentage of .990, with just two errors in 208 chances.