Kelly Johnson had his ups and downs with the Diamondbacks

Although Kelly Johnson is only 29 years old, the Arizona Diamondbacks are ready to move on without him.  Johnson came to the Diamondbacks after being released from the Atlanta Braves at the end of the ’09 season.  During that season, Johnson averaged a career low .224 AVG, and played in 106 games.  In July of ’09, after going 5 for 74 (.067 AVG), Johnson was put on the disabled list with tendonitis in his right wrist.  Although he started hitting better after coming off the DL, he only played sparingly the rest of the season, and was without a team for 2010.

Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Kelly JohnsonThe Arizona Diamondbacks took a chance by signing Johnson in 2010.  They gambled that he would rebound from his worst season professionally in many categories, and gave him a one-year $2.3 million contract.  Johnson responded by having a breakout season.  His average of .284 was fifth for all MLB second basemen.  He had the highest total hits (166), runs scored (93), slugging percentage (.496) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.865) of his career.  To top it off, he hit 26 home runs, which tied him for the fourth highest among second basemen that year.  The only negative was that he was striking out more frequently, and ended 2010 with a career high 148 K’s.

Things were looking up for Johnson going into the 2011 season, and he was given a one-year $5.85 million contract to stay with the Diamondbacks.  The 2011 season did not start out good for Johnson.  His inconsistency, which has plagued him throughout his career, gave him a .180 batting average for April. In the first month of the season, he also had already compiled 31 strikeouts.

In May, Johnson hit .267, and by then he had already hit 10 home runs on the season. Johnson struggled again in June going 15 for 85 (.176 AVG).  Three months into the 2011 season, he had a .210 AVG, and was Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hillapproaching almost 100 strikeouts.  July saw Johnson bat .253 with four home runs and only 20 strikeouts.  However, Johnson was 8 for 57 during August.  That gave him a .140 average for the month, and a .209 average for the season.  Although Johnson was on target for hitting another 26 home runs this year, he was also on target for having his worst batting average and the most strikeouts in his career.

The Diamondbacks finally got tired of the inconsistency, and traded Johnson on August 23 for Toronto Blue Jays infielders Aaron Hill and John McDonald.  Aaron Hill was hitting .225 for the season with only 53 strikeouts.  He will start for the Diamondbacks at second base.

~ by Troy Erickson Realtor on August 25, 2011.

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