Friday, April 27, 2012

Draft Notes: Pierce Johnson & Andrew Heaney

Two quick notes from Jim Callis' chat on Wednesday:
@Jaypers413 (IL): Is Pierce Johnson a potential 1st rounder in your opinion?
Jim Callis: I think he'll be a first-rounder if he stays healthy down the stretch. Strong return vs. Wichita State was a positive sign.
Pierce Johnson was a favorite of mine going into the 2009 draft; I listed him as a round 2-4 candidate. He wound up slipping to the 15th round because he missed a lot of the spring with a broken hand, so teams didn't get many looks at him. The Rays selected him in the 15th round but couldn't sign him. I'm not sure what sort of money he was looking for, but 20th-rounder (and another likely top-5 round pick) Dylan Floro was looking for $450,000 but was only offered $280,000. If the Rays were close to that on Johnson, it's disappointing not to get that done as he looks like a first rounder now.

Johnson has made eight starts spanning 55.1 innings for Missouri State, posting a 2.28 ERA and 80 strikeouts against 19 walks. A bout of forearm soreness caused him to miss two starts and is worth monitoring, but he was strong (nine strikeouts, no walks in 6 innings) in his return against Wichita State. Assuming continued health and performance, Johnson is a sure-fire first rounder. 6-2/165 back in 2009, he's fulfilled the projectability and grown to an ideal 6-3/180.
Casey (CA): Is Heaney at #11 an overdraft? what about Fontana or Jankowski at #34?
Jim Callis: On Heaney, not for a team that wants a college starter. I'm not as high on Fontana and Jankowski as others are.
That's Andrew Heaney, a LHP from Oklahoma State. He was also the Rays' 24th round pick in 2009 as a high schooler, ranked #15 in the state of Oklahoma by BA. While he wasn't a truly elite talent then, he wasn't considered signable with his Oklahoma State commitment. After two middling seasons as a freshman and a sophomore (5.16 and 4.03 ERAs, 106-47 K-BB in 133 innings), he's had a breakthrough spring in 2012. In 10 starts spanning 75.2 innings, he's got a 2.02 ERA and a 94-16 K-BB while holding opponents to a .201 batting average. He has an easy delivery and has shored up his curveball and change-up and looks like a potential first-rounder.


  1. I'm right with you, Kevin. I really hoped for Pierce Johnson to sign.

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    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was also looking for it, And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him. So I should thank you for the free lunch I got.