Brian Johnson (johnsbr02)
Christopher Brian Johnson
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 3", Weight 229 lb.
- School University of Florida
- High School Cocoa Beach High School
- Debut July 21, 2015
Pitcher Brian Johnson was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 27th round of the 2009 amateur draft. He did not sign, opting to go to the University of Florida instead. He was then selected by the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the 2012 amateur draft with the 31st overall selection. Scouted by Anthony Turco, he soon signed for a $1.575 million bonus and made his pro debut on July 29th with the Lowell Spinners. He made four starts with Lowell, nit giving up an earned run in 5 2/3 innings as the Red Sox wanted to limit his innings given his heavy work load in college.
In 2013, he made his debut in earnest by making 19 starts and pitching 85 innings among three teams at different levels of the Red Sox organization. Most of his time was spent with the Greenville Drive of the South Atlantic League and overall he was 2-6, 2.54. In 2014, he opened the season with the Salem Red Sox of the Carolina League, for whom he had also pitched briefly the previous year, and was promoted to AA after going 3-1 in 5 starts. With the Portland Sea Dogs of the Eastern League he was an outstanding 10-2, 1.75 in 20 starts, to finish a combined 13-3, 2.13 in 25 starts, with 132 strikeouts in 143 2/3 innings and only 101 hits allowed. He began 2015 in AAA with the Pawtucket Red Sox and was 8-6, 2.73 in 16 starts when he got the call to The Show.
In his major league debut on July 21, 2015, he was facing Vince Velasquez, a top prospect for the Houston Astros who had also been called up for the start, although he had made his debut a few weeks earlier that season. It was Velasquez who won the battle and earned his first big league victory, as Brian gave up 4 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks in 4 1/3 innings in the 8-3 loss. It was his only game in the big leagues that season, and in fact he did not return until April 18, 2017 when he earned his first career win in a start against the Toronto Blue Jays. He gave up 4 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings but still ended up an 8-7 winner.
On May 27, 2017, he registered a complete game shutout, 6-0 over the Seattle Mariners, in his first career start at Fenway Park. He was the first Red Sox pitcher to do so since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. He struck out 8 and walked none while giving up 5 hits in a dominant performance.