College Baseball Countdown: 11 Days to Go- Kel Johnson

Photo Georgia Tech Athletics

Photo Georgia Tech Athletics

Few freshmen announced themselves to the college baseball world as quickly and loudly as Georgia Tech’s Kel Johnson in 2015. He hit .298/.369/.570 with ten home runs and 34 RBI, and could have done more damage than that had his season not been limited to 40 games due to injury.

Still, even after just playing three-fourths of a full season, he was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and a second-team Freshman All-American by He was also named to the ACC All-Freshman Team.

In 2016, there is hope that Johnson will be able to take a step forward and become one of the top power bats in the conference to help replace some of the production lost with the departure of A.J. Murray, who led the team last year in doubles with 16, home runs with 15, and RBI with 51. With a big year, Johnson seems capable of easily matching that level of production.

And if he does indeed have a big year, it might be his last year at Georgia Tech, as he is a draft-eligible sophomore this season, and he’s high on prospect lists. He is ranked 69th on’s list of top 300 prospects, and he’s 74th on Baseball America’s top 100.

Of course, draft-eligible sophomores can often be hard to predict when it comes to their decision to sign versus coming back for another year in college. On one hand, with two more years of eligibility, there isn’t as much risk involved with returning to school to try to improve their draft stock. On the other hand, though, it’s tough to turn down an opportunity to get their pro baseball career underway what essentially amounts to a year earlier than much of the rest of his class.

That’s a conversation to continue in June, but for now, we know that Johnson is going to be a big part of a very talented Georgia Tech team that has some sleeper potential in the ACC.



About the Author

Joseph Healy
Joe Healy was first introduced to college baseball when he grew up watching the likes of Jeff Niemann, Philip Humber, and Wade Townsend pitch for Rice University. To say it was love at first sight would be an understatement. That love only grew as he went off to college at Sam Houston State University, where he practically lived at Don Sanders Stadium watching his Bearkats under the direction of the legendary Mark Johnson. He holds a B.A. in political science from SHSU and is working toward his Masters in Public Administration from SIU-Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Illinois.