The Orioles will be picking first overall in the MLB Draft for the third time in the organization’s history on Sunday. One option with the No. 1 overall pick is Georgia high school infielder Termarr Johnson.
“I don’t know too much about what’s gonna happen in the next couple days, but it’d mean a lot to me," Johnson said about the possibility of going No. 1. “Being selected with the Baltimore Orioles means that, you know, Baltimore gets a ring in a couple years.”
Johnson is rated as the No. 4 prospect in this year’s draft class, according to MLB Pipeline. Most scouts and draft experts rave about Johnson’s advanced bat for an 18-year-old, including Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo.
“He’s easily the best high school hitter that I’ve seen,” Collazo said. “It’s a special, special bat.”
Baseball America ranked Johnson the No. 1 high school baseball player in the country last spring after he hit .417 with nine home runs, 23 stolen bases, eight doubles and five triples for Benjamin E. Mays High School in Atlanta.
“I try to give myself great hitting counts,” Johnson said. “I feel like that’s the biggest thing for me. When I get in great hitting counts ... I’m able to hit the ball hard.”
The left-handed hitter compares his swing and demeanor to eight-time All-Star Robinson Canó. Johnson says he is a huge fan of the sport and watches MLB on a regular basis.
“I have a player on each team that I look up to,” he said.
“I like watching Cedric Mullins ball out and I was so proud of him last year,” Johnson said about the fellow former Georgia high school baseball player. “I like Rougned Odor’s bat flips and everything. … When he hits the ball, he hits it far. It’s kinda cool seeing it from a guy who’s kinda my size.”
Johnson is listed at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. He played shortstop in high school, but there are questions about his glove and whether or not he can stay there at the next level.
“Most people in the industry think he’s going to be a second basemen long-term,” Collazo said. “But … if you are fully in on the hit and power tools, and Baltimore has shown a tendency to really chase those tools in the past, Termarr Johnson is a really special and unique player.”
Johnson would be the first projected second baseman taken No. 1 overall in MLB Draft history, but don’t tell him that.
“Whatever team I go to or whatever my next step is, I’m gonna work hard to make sure I can … stay at shortstop," he said.
Johnson worked out at Camden Yards in front of the Orioles organization and scouts earlier this year.
“It was really cool.” Johnson said. “Camden Yards is nothing like what you see on 'MLB The Show,' so it was kinda cool just seeing it in the flesh. … I was just happy to have the opportunity to work out in front of them.”
On Sunday night, he will find out if he has the opportunity to make good on his promise of bringing Baltimore a ring, as well.