With the No. 40 pick in the draft, the Rays selected right-handed pitcher Seth Johnson from Campbell.
At a junior college, Johnson was a full-time hitter, but it wasn’t working out. He gave pitching a try, went to Campbell, and now he’s going to be a Day 1 pick.
His rise has been impressive, and when looking at his fairly mediocre stats, it’s important to keep in mind just how new he is to pitching. Prior to this season, he hadn’t thrown more than a handful of innings in college.
Despite that inexperience, he has an easy delivery like he’s been pitching for years, and he has good stuff. His fastball is a plus pitch. His slider and changeup have pretty good potential as well.
Johnson was ranked as the No. 29 player by Baseball America, No. 37 by Keith Law at ESPN, No. 44 by FanGraphs, and No. 29 by MLB.com.
With his background, he could be a bit of a project. His workload will have to be developed, but what he’s been able to do in a short time on the mound is impressive.
With the No. 40 overall pick in the 2019 #MLBDraft, the Rays select Campbell RHP Seth Johnson.— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) June 4, 2019
Johnson was No. 28 on the BA 500. Read his scouting report right here: https://t.co/mb7Nl0HvJc pic.twitter.com/HtTa5dygVO
New Rays RHP Seth Johnson is a conversion guy from SS. Wore down a little as season went on, but best should be ahead for him. Athletic pitcher with a clean delivery.— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 4, 2019
40. Rays: Seth Johnson, rhp, Campbell. Relatively new to pitching, up to 98 mph on the mound with outstanding arm speed, excellent athlete, slider often plus and changeup shows 55. One of the more fascinating upsides in the class— Brian Sakowski (@B_Sakowski_PG) June 4, 2019
Just saw Seth Johnson yesterday: 93-96 and bumped 97, that arm is electric. Still new to pitching as a converted infielder. Slider flashes plenty of promise, but his best years are ahead of him. Another guy that drew plenty of first-round interest. Strong value at No. 40. https://t.co/H6yFT9v3Vi— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) June 4, 2019