Pittsburgh Pirates: Early Look at Potential Pitcher & Position Player Over Slot Draft Pick

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LHP Cameron Johnson

Cameron Johnson is a tall and talented left-handed pitcher who is committed to LSU. He attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and is also fairly young, as he just turned 18 years old. But the ceiling Johnson brings to the table is extremely high.

Johnson stands at a hulking 6’5”, 230 pounds before his 20th birthday. He uses that size to hurl a fastball through the zone in the 95-96 MPH range. His slider is a pitch that also has elite potential. It sits in the high-70s with nasty break. Then there’s his changeup. As of now, it’s very clearly a third pitch, according to MLB Pipeline, but he also hasn’t used it nearly as much as his fastball or slider. Simply an increase in usage could help it develop more.

It also helps that Johnson has a low arm slot. MLB Pipeline considers it a three-quarters arm slot. It’s not low enough to be considered sidearm, but if he were to drop down another three inches, it just might be. The only downsides he showed were some fatigue late into summer and some spotty command, but at just 18 years old, there’s plenty of time for him to get things in line. Imagine what he could look like at 22-23 years old.

With a gigantic frame, flaming fastball, low arm slot, and the last name Johnson, some might compare him to Randy Johnson. Of course, that is a fairly lazy comparison, but he definitely has a ton of talent. From an outsider’s perspective, this seems like a player who, if they followed through on their college commitment, could end up in the first half of the first round of a future MLB Draft. 

Currently, Johnson is MLB Pipeline’s 50th-best draft prospect, and the Pittsburgh Pirates have the 42nd overall pick in the second round. If the draft were tomorrow, there would be a distinct possibility he would still be available when the Pirates are on the clock, and though things could always change, Johnson is one player to watch this summer.