If you follow the LA Angels like I do you have heard about Sherman Johnson for a few years as a potential major league player. However, it never come to fruition until early this week when he received the call.
Since being drafted in 2012 out of Florida State University in the 14th round, Sherman Johnson has been battling to make it up to the big leagues. Every time Johnson seemed to get close to achieving his ultimate goal of reaching the majors it would not happen. Johnson was invited to Spring Training in 2014-2017 as a non-roster invitee but never made it to the Angels roster.
Sherman Johnson had a particularly frustrating season in 2018 with five separate trips to the disabled list during the first half of the season. Johnson was then sent down to Double-A Mobile for a month before finally making it back to Triple-A Salt Lake City where he finished the Triple-A season in early September. Playing in only 66 games Johnson finished with four homers and 20 RBIs and a .251 batting average. He did have a respectable .345 on-base-percentage.
However, when the Triple-A season ended Johnson was again passed over for a September call-up to the majors. Johnson went home and was starting to go into off-season mode when something magical happened. Johnson received a phone call from Angels general manager Billy Eppler on Tuesday telling him the Angels were adding him to the 40-man roster and that he was being called up to the majors for the first time in his seven-year professional baseball career.
The move was necessitated by two things. First of all the Angels had released utility infielder Nolan Fontana in August and secondly David Fletcher pulled a hamstring in Sunday afternoon’s game against the Seattle Mariners. With Fletcher out the Angels only had Kaleb Cowart to play second base so some depth was needed. Johnson can also play third base and may give Taylor Ward a break from time-to-time especially since Ward has been struggling as of late.
Johnson recorded his first major league at-bat Wednesday night in Oakland which Johnson grounded out for the first out in the ninth inning. Johnson is hopeful he will get some more opportunities over the last two weeks of the season. For now though he is just happy to have finally gotten the opportunity to play in the big leagues.