Rocket-armed reliever Tyler Johnson spent the 2018 season making minor-league hitters look sick, while fashioning a 9-0 record with a 1.40 ERA and 14 saves. In 58 innings pitched, he struck out 89 batters, while walking only 16 and allowing 35 hits. His dominance at both Low-A Kannapolis and High-A Winston-Salem earned Johnson a nomination for a MILBY award for minor league baseball’s best relief pitcher.
Rather than resting on his laurels, Johnson the consummate perfectionist, has spent the offseason sharpening his slider with the University of South Carolina pitching coach Skylar Meade. He emphasized that his tips from coach Meade are really resonating, telling South Side Sox, “The slider is coming along, it's getting a lot better. I look forward to having it as a plus pitch.”
Additionally, Johnson recently returned to the United States after joining several other White Sox top prospects on a unique team-building trip to the Dominican Republic. He summed up his trip by saying, “No matter the preconceived ideas that each of us had before the trip, we quickly realized the reason we were there. We were there for the kids of the Dominican Republic, and their people. I know my goal was to have a lifetime impact on them, but it turned out to be the opposite. They had a lifetime impact on me.”
Johnson should start the season at AA Birmingham, and offers yet another powerful bullpen arm to a very deep farm system.