21 December 2008

BLAST FROM THE PAST: JEFF JOHNSON

Back in the early '90's the future of the Yankees pitching staff revolved around names like Wade Taylor, Kevin Mmahat (yes, that is spelled correctly), Sam Militello and Jeff Johnson.

None of these 'phenoms' worked out and it took a few more years before Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera came through the system.

In 1991, on a staff that called 34 year old Scott Sanderson (16-10, 3.81) their ace, Johnson, 24, started 23 games, went 6-11 with an ERA a tad under 6.

Taylor was 7-12, 6.27 -Tim Leary 4-10, 6.49 - Pasqual Perez, Dave Eiland, Chuck Cary and Scott Kamieniecki were not much better.

Stump Merrill's Yankees finished 1991 in 5th place at 71-91 with Matt Nokes, Don Mattingly, Steve Sax, Alvaro Espinosa, Pat Kelly, Mell Hall, Jesse Barfield and a rookie CF'er named Bernie Williams.

Johnson, a left-hander who was chosen in the sixth round by the Yankees of the 1988 draft, made a few appearances in '92 and '93, bounced around the minors and was done in '94 with a 8-16 record and an ERA over 6.

So, that ends the story of #43, Jeff Johnson, right?

WRONG!

Johnson as been named as the new pitching coach for the West Virginia Power, the class-A affiliate of the Pirates.

In 2008 he was the pitching coach for the Hickory Crawdads on the Rangers farm. Good luck Jeff.



Look-a-likes: Johnson and FOX News Anchor Shepard Smith.

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