Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: Termarr Johnson or Brooks Lee

DENVER, CO - JULY 10: Termarr Johnson points to a fellow contestant during a break in the action in the Major League Baseball All-Star High School Home Run Derby at Coors Field on July 10, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Kyle Cooper/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 10: Termarr Johnson points to a fellow contestant during a break in the action in the Major League Baseball All-Star High School Home Run Derby at Coors Field on July 10, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Kyle Cooper/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images) /
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DENVER, CO – JULY 10: Termarr Johnson points to a fellow contestant during a break in the action in the Major League Baseball All-Star High School Home Run Derby at Coors Field on July 10, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Kyle Cooper/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO – JULY 10: Termarr Johnson points to a fellow contestant during a break in the action in the Major League Baseball All-Star High School Home Run Derby at Coors Field on July 10, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Kyle Cooper/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images) /

Termarr Johnson

Termarr Johnson is a shortstop out of Atlanta, Georgia. The middle infielder has a commitment to Arizona State but will likely forgo that commitment to enter pro ball. Johnson is one of the younger players in this year’s draft. He’s still only 17-years-old but has just as much upside as many of the other top draft prospects.

Johnson’s hit tool is elite. MLB Pipeline views it as a 70-grade weapon. Some scouts have compared his plate discipline to Wade Boggs and the bat-to-ball skill of Vlad Guerrero Sr. But not only does he have the chance to be a consistent .300 hitter with a .400+ OBP, but he also has the power to crank out 25+ home runs a season. Johnson’s power is a plus-plus tool. Plate discipline is always nice to see in young kids, but it’s even better when you pair it with good power.

Johnson is athletic, but not athletic enough for shortstop. He’s a solid runner but lacks the range and arm for shortstop. He still projects as an above-average defensive second baseman, though. However, a significant development will be how he handles himself in the wood bat league he is participating in this summer. If he can do well in that, at 17-years-old, he may end up being an over-slot selection by the Bucs if he falls to them.

He’s a bat-first prospect, but not like the way of most firstbase prospects. He still has the athleticism to play up the middle. Although he might end up at second base long term, whichever team that picks him will likely try him at shortstop for as long as they can. Worst case scenario is that he has to move over to the keystone, where he is still a good defender. After all, nearly all second basemen in the Major Leagues were drafted or signed as shortstops.

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