Jun 17, 2014

Short Time Mets Outfielder: Ben Johnson (2007)

Benjamin Joseph Johnson was born on June 18, 1981 in Memphis, Tennessee. Johnson was recruited to play football at Mississippi State but opted for baseball instead, signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1999. He got traded over to the Padres organization, and was an All Star in their minor leagues. He hit twenty plus HRs & drove in eighty plus RBIs two straight years including hitting a career best .312 in 2005 at AAA Portland. 

He got rewarded with a call up in the summer then again in September. To begin the month he hit HRs in back to back games. He finished the season batting .213 with 3 HRs 8 doubles & 13 RBIs. In 2006 he saw action in 58 games for the Padres NL Western Champions, hitting .250 with 4 HRs & 12 RBIs but he did not make the post season roster. That November the Mets made a bad decision giving up on pitcher Heath Bell. They traded Bell & Royce Ring to the Padres in exchange for Johnson.

The trade didn’t work out for the Mets, as Johnson only saw MLB action in nine games in 2007 when all three Met regular out fielders were on the DL. In nine games Johnson only hit .185 (5-27) with a double and an RBI. He was back to AAA New Orleans where he only hit two HRs in 188 at bats batting .271.

He was not offered a contract that December, but just prior to Spring Training he was offered a new deal. Soon, injuries held him down & he was released in May of 2008. He played two seasons in the Independent League in California, before getting signed to a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers in 2010.

In his MLB career he batted .230 with 51 hits 7 HRs 14 doubles & 26 RBIs in 98 games played.

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