The Atlanta Braves brought back one of their very own Baby Braves when they announced they had signed INF Kelly Johnson to a minor league deal. Johnson was a first-round pick by the Braves in 2000. He made his debut with the team in 2005. Johnson played with Atlanta as our second baseman for four seasons until he signed with the Diamondbacks. When he arrived in Arizona, he took off. He had a break-out year in which he hit .284 with 26 homers and 71 RBI. But Johnson’s game drastically collapsed after his breakout year, and the highest batting average he has finished with since has been .235. The Braves brought him in on a minor-league deal with an invitation to Spring Training to compete for a utility role on the team. One thing that makes Johnson valuable is his ability to play both infield and outfield positions. Johnson played for the Yankees, Orioles and Red Sox as he was traded twice. It’s nice to see the Braves give a guy they brought up a chance to make a big league club, especially on a minor-league deal with no risk. Johnson still offers some power in his swing and could be a decent utility guy to have off the bench. Expect Johnson to likely take a back seat to 2B’s Jace Peterson and Alberto Callaspo if he makes the roster.
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