In 2014, Oxford was introduced to a Saturday starter out of junior college that took the SEC by storm. He led the team in strikeouts, ERA for a starter, had a perfect 9-0 record and was dominant in the postseason. His name is Christian Trent. This season, the Rebels will be relying on another junior college guy that come in and contribute early and often, Sean Johnson.
Johnson had a terrific career at Iowa Western, going 5-2 in 10 starts as a freshman, striking out 42 in just 41 innings and allowing a meager 10 earned runs. Last year he was even better as the ace of the 2014 national championship Reivers, posting a 10-1 mark with 88 strikeouts in 75 innings. Equally as impressive is his low amount of walks, issuing just 32 free passes in 116 collegiate innings, compared to his 130 strikeouts.
Not only has Johnson been overpowering on the mound as far as production goes, he looks the part as well. The Durango, Colorado, native stands at 6’7 and 210 Lbs., allowing him to get long extension toward the plate. Don’t let his height fool you into thinking he lacks athleticism as the tall righty lettered four years in baseball, hockey and gold at Fountain Valley School of Colorado.
Pressure will be low as Johnson is sandwiched in-between two established starters: Trent on Fridays and senior Sam Smith on Sundays. He doesn’t need to be an ace for the Rebels, rather he just needs to keep the team in games and give the team a chance to tie or win the series every Saturday. If he can transfer his potential into on-field production by the time conference play rolls around, Mike Bianco’s club is going to be awfully tough to take a series from on any given weekend.
Recapping the list thus far:
18. Kyle Watson, INF
16. Wyatt Short, LHP
14. Connor Cloyd, OF
13. Holt Perdzock, C
5. Sean Johnson, RHP
Michael Quirk is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.