Under-the-radar AL players
August, 11, 2011
By Jim Bowden | ESPN.com
David Butler II/US PresswireEarly on, not many thought rookie Josh Reddick would impact the Red Sox like he has in 2011.
It's easy to focus on the superstar players, because they are the biggest difference-makers. However, pennants are often won (or lost) with the unheralded players who are in the process of making names for themselves. These “under-the-radar players” often turn into stars, solid everyday players or championship-caliber role-players. Here's a look at an under-the-radar player on each AL team. (For a look at the under-the-radar NL players, click here.)
Baltimore Orioles, Jim Johnson, RHP: The 28-year-old was the Orioles' fifth-round selection in the 2001 draft. He now has had parts of six years of experience in the major leagues with the Orioles, and this will be his third season in the last four with 50 or more appearances. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound right-hander has a fastball in the 93-95 mph range with a hard curveball and a changeup that could use more deception and less velocity. He gives the Orioles a good trade piece this offseason.