2B Micah Johnson is off to a flying start with the Intimidators. The 2012 ninth-round pick is probably the most interesting position player at Kannapolis, which may seem like faint praise given the competition. However, the second baseman's talent belies his draft position. After a couple good seasons at Indiana, he entered the 2012 college season as a reasonably well-regarded draft prospect. But his season was a disappointment, after a nagging elbow injury sustained in the Cape Cod League the summer before ended up requiring surgery. He never got back on track and saw his offense decline from .335/.402/.474 his sophomore to .225/.303/.387. The 22-year-old rebounded some at Great Falls, and now he appears to be back at full-strength in his first full professional season. His speed is elite and, in 14 games, he's already swiped 12 bases while being caught just twice. And the switch-hitter is able to utilize that speed by hitting well in the early going: .304/.394/.482.
Player transactions really heated up. OF Jared Mitchell is back with Birmingham after a horrid start with Charlotte. OF Brandon Short moved up to where he should have been all along, if not for the Knights' outfielder logjam. 3B Brent Morel and RHP Nestor Molina (shoulder) are both on the disabled list.
OF Courtney Hawkins may be joining his mentor Mitchell in a demotion if he keeps striking out in 60 percent of his plate appearances. Jim interviewed Hawkins and his Dash teammates RHP Chris Beck and 2B Joey DeMichele. Links here, here and here.
OF Trayce Thompson's triple slash doesn't immediately look good: .220/.313/.424. But this is one of those situations where keeping in mind the context is important. Offense is down Southern League-wide in the early going, with the league average line sitting around .235/.320/.350.