Chris Johnson (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
Chris Johnson – I remember fans just absolutely calling for Chris Johnson’s head during the dog days of a very doggy day 2012 Astros season. Turns out he is not as bad as some grown men hecklers thought.
Johnson was dealt on July 29, 2012 to open up the everyday third base spot for Matt Dominguez, acquired earlier in this post. The Stros acquired 3B-OF Bobby Borchering and OF-1B Marc Krauss. Of course you know Krauss, for better or worse, as he trudged through 2014 as half of the first base platoon for the Astros, swinging his bat to a .173 average. Borchering, a former first round pick (16th overall in 2009 out of HS) was the more intriguing piece but at age 23 has yet to reach AA after two plus seasons in the Astros organization. He moved to first base in 2013, but the results are still pretty tough for Borchering.
Chris Johnson wasn’t long in Arizona — who is these days? — and after a promising half season in 2012 he was packaged as part of the Justin Upton to Atlanta blockbuster while the D-Backs were just unloading former top picks.
Even while impressing in his half season on the radar in Phoenix, Atlanta probably didn’t even think they were getting this much of a talent in a deal where they were already receiving Upton. But with Martin Prado departing in the same deal and Chipper Jones retired, Johnson took a hold of the third base job and played 125 games at the hot corner for Atlanta. He had a marvelous season, hitting .321 with 12 home runs and 68 RBI. In the NLDS vs. the Dodgers he burst onto the national scene, hitting for a .438 postseason average with 5 RBI.
Before the 2014 season, Johnson and the Braves agreed to a three-year extension worth $23.5 million and a fourth year club option, eliminating his arbitration seasons.