Sports

Paris Johnson on radar for four MLB teams so far

The Bahamas has been on the radar of Major League Baseball (MLB) teams for decades now, and it come as no major surprise that four teams have their eyes on Bahamian prospect Paris Johnson.

Johnson is 15 years old and is already regarded as a 2021 international prospect. He does not turn 16 until 2021. His main goal is to make it to the majors, and he is grateful for the opportunity to be on the radar of four teams so far.

“It is just an opportunity and I have to trust God and do good,” Johnson said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed Johnson’s signing year to 2022 as the 2021 period has been pushed back because of an abbreviated MLB season.

The outfielder’s ability to hit the ball is one of the reasons he is a top prospect. He played in the World Wood Bat Association (WWBA) 14-and-under East Memorial Day Classic where his batting average was over .700. That tournament was held in Fort Myers, Florida, in May 2019. Johnson was named to the All-Tournament team.

“I went over there with a plan and I stuck to it and did my best,” Johnson said of his play in that tournament.

His team, Elite Squad 14U (14-and-Under) Outlaws, finished pool play with a perfect 4-0 win/loss record. They lost in the semi-final.

In October 2019, Johnson played in the WWBA Freshman World Championships held in West Palm Beach, Florida. His swing is regarded as being fluid, and he made the All-Tournament team again, playing for the Elite Squad 2023. They finished with a 3-1 record and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Locally, Johnson plays in the Freedom Farm Baseball League.

Coach Greg Burrows Jr. and the team at MaxD Sports Academy have been working with Johnson from he was 13-years-old. Burrows hopes that Johnson gets a chance to showcase his skills for MLB scouts.

“He has power potential to hit in the professional leagues. He works very hard to accomplish what he wants to accomplish and that is to become a professional baseball player,” Burrows said. “He is a big kid. He has a lot of power and a very good arm. He has good speed for his size.”

The 6’3” 210-pound righty has been playing baseball since he was five years old and has fallen in love with the sport.

“Playing baseball everyday, going to practice and working out has made me fall in love with the sport. Traveling and seeing how all the other teams play has also helped,” Johnson said.

When they were allowed to train, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Johnson and Burrows were able to work on his swing, conditioning and fielding three days out of the week earlier this year. On the other two days, Johnson did some work on his own with his swing, among other workouts. He said he is ready to play as early as tomorrow if called upon.

Burrows stated that they do not want to get Johnson too bulky but rather have him stay lean because he still needs to run on defense. The two have worked on Johnson’s speed so that he can play defense at a high level, which can also translate to tremendous skill at base running.

There are other players who are on the same path as Johnson, also looking to play in the majors. The Bahamian realizes this and said it just drives him to train harder.

Johnson hopes to join the likes of other Bahamian professional players such as Arizona Diamondbacks’ prospect Kristian Robinson, Tampa Bay Rays’ prospect Lucius Fox and Miami Marlins’ prospect Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm.

Johnson is the son of Perry and Aniska Johnson.

he Bahamas has been on the radar of Major League Baseball (MLB) teams for decades now, and it come as no major surprise that four teams have their eyes on Bahamian prospect Paris Johnson.

Johnson is 15 years old and is already regarded as a 2021 international prospect. He does not turn 16 until 2021. His main goal is to make it to the majors, and he is grateful for the opportunity to be on the radar of four teams so far.

“It is just an opportunity and I have to trust God and do good,” Johnson said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed Johnson’s signing year to 2022 as the 2021 period has been pushed back because of an abbreviated MLB season.

The outfielder’s ability to hit the ball is one of the reasons he is a top prospect. He played in the World Wood Bat Association (WWBA) 14-and-under East Memorial Day Classic where his batting average was over .700. That tournament was held in Fort Myers, Florida, in May 2019. Johnson was named to the All-Tournament team.

“I went over there with a plan and I stuck to it and did my best,” Johnson said of his play in that tournament.

His team, Elite Squad 14U (14-and-Under) Outlaws, finished pool play with a perfect 4-0 win/loss record. They lost in the semi-final.

In October 2019, Johnson played in the WWBA Freshman World Championships held in West Palm Beach, Florida. His swing is regarded as being fluid, and he made the All-Tournament team again, playing for the Elite Squad 2023. They finished with a 3-1 record and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

Locally, Johnson plays in the Freedom Farm Baseball League.

Coach Greg Burrows Jr. and the team at MaxD Sports Academy have been working with Johnson from he was 13-years-old. Burrows hopes that Johnson gets a chance to showcase his skills for MLB scouts.

“He has power potential to hit in the professional leagues. He works very hard to accomplish what he wants to accomplish and that is to become a professional baseball player,” Burrows said. “He is a big kid. He has a lot of power and a very good arm. He has good speed for his size.”

The 6’3” 210-pound righty has been playing baseball since he was five years old and has fallen in love with the sport.

“Playing baseball everyday, going to practice and working out has made me fall in love with the sport. Traveling and seeing how all the other teams play has also helped,” Johnson said.

When they were allowed to train, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Johnson and Burrows were able to work on his swing, conditioning and fielding three days out of the week earlier this year. On the other two days, Johnson did some work on his own with his swing, among other workouts. He said he is ready to play as early as tomorrow if called upon.

Burrows stated that they do not want to get Johnson too bulky but rather have him stay lean because he still needs to run on defense. The two have worked on Johnson’s speed so that he can play defense at a high level, which can also translate to tremendous skill at base running.

There are other players who are on the same path as Johnson, also looking to play in the majors. The Bahamian realizes this and said it just drives him to train harder.

Johnson hopes to join the likes of other Bahamian professional players such as Arizona Diamondbacks’ prospect Kristian Robinson, Tampa Bay Rays’ prospect Lucius Fox and Miami Marlins’ prospect Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm.

Johnson is the son of Perry and Aniska Johnson.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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