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Cleburne Acquires Experienced Righty Johnson

June 21, 2019 - American Association (AA) - Cleburne Railroaders News Release

CLEBURNE, Texas - The Cleburne Railroaders took steps to bolster the starting rotation on Friday, acquiring right-handed pitcher Stephen Johnson from the High Point Rockers of the Atlantic League in exchange for a player to be named later.

To create space on the roster, the Railroaders released right-handed pitcher Conner Dotson due to an injury. Additionally, first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez has elected to retire.

Johnson has been almost exclusively a reliever throughout his professional career, but this season with High Point made the transition to the starting rotation. In eight starts for the Rockers, Johnson was 3-3 with a 5.02 ERA, allowing 44 hits in 43.0 innings with 29 strikeouts and 17 walks.

Originally born in Washington, D.C., Johnson played his high school baseball in Colorado before spending his college career at St. Edwards University in Austin. He developed into an All-American for the Hilltoppers with a blazing fastball that was clocked as high as 102 miles per hour, posting a 1.45 ERA with a school-record 18 saves as a junior. Johnson was selected in the 6th round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants, and went on to spend parts of four seasons in the Giants system. After reaching Double-A Richmond in 2015, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for outfielder Marlon Byrd.

The 28-year old found his way back to the Giants system for the 2017 campaign, but injuries limited him to just 4.2 innings before he elected free agency. Johnson latched on with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League in 2018 and put together an excellent season. Pitching in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the Atlantic League with a 135 home run Park Factor over the last eight seasons, Johnson went 3-0 with a 2.94 ERA in 52.0 innings. The righty allowed only 46 hits, striking out 61 while walking 23.

For his career, Johnson owns a 3.82 ERA in 278 games, 264 of which have come out of the bullpen. He has allowed only 360 hits in 414.1 innings, striking out 429.

For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders main office at (817) 945-8705, or visit the Railroaders official website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.


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