Kyle Johnson (minors04)
Kyle Jacob Johnson
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 195 lb.
- School Washington State University
- High School Lake City High School
Kyle Johnson is an outfielder who began playing in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim minor league system in 2012. He was a 25th round pick in the 2012 amateur draft, out of Washington State University. His signing bonus was $5,000.
Kyle's first professional experience came with the Orem Owlz of the Pioneer League the year he was drafted. In 33 games, he hit .289 with 1 homer and 12 RBIs. He then started 2013 with the Burlington (IA) Bees of the Midwest League where he hit .308/.416/.421 in 68 games. On June 25th, he was traded to the New York Mets in return for major league OF Collin Cowgill, a sign that he had risen past his initial status as a late-round draft pick. He finished that season with 8 games with the Savannah Sand Gnats and 48 with the St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League, where he hit .278/.344/.380. In 2014, he was with the Binghamton Mets of the AA Eastern League where he played 103 games and hit .259/.344/.384 while seeing time at all three outfield positions. He played winter ball for the Indios de Mayagüez in the Puerto Rican League after that season.
In 2015, Kyle was set back by an injury, missing all of June and July and being limited to 36 games with the Las Vegas 51s of the AAA International League, where he hit .223. He also played for two lower-level teams on rehabilitation assignments. In 2016, he hit .199 in 51 games for Binghamton and .244 in 26 games for Las Vegas, for a combined line of .213/.294/.305.
Johnson was one of four minor leaguers to file a lawsuit against major league baseball and its teams, piloted by former minor league player Garrett Broshuis, asking for fair wages. As Johnson explained, his pay after six years of minor league baseball and after having reached the highest rung of the system was only $12,000 per year, while he was not paid to attend a month of spring training. He said that he was basically living off his wife's earnings as it was impossible to support a young family on such meager wages.
- Ted Berg: "$12,000 a year: A minor leaguer takes his fight for fair pay public", "For the Win!", USA Today Sports, January 31, 2017.