When Marlins first baseman Justin Bour was sidelined by injury for most of the second half, Miami called upon Chris Johnson to be the starter. For the most part, Johnson failed to produce like a starter, which is why Miami had a couple other players create a platoon at first base. Miguel Rojas and Derek Dietrich both spent time at the position, which took some of the load off of Johnson.
If there was one shining moment for the 32-year-old, it came on August 27 against the San Diego Padres. Johnson’s walk off double gave Miami a crucial 8-7 victory, because at the time, Miami was still competing for a wild card spot. Johnson also had a nine-game hit streak going in July. Johnson was versatile in the field, as he played left field, third base, and first base.
Johnson’s best month was by far July, as he hit a season-high .254 with eight RBI’s. He struggled down the stretch, as he batted .174 in August, before getting only 12 at-bats in September. The right-hander seemed to enjoy a little more success against righties, as he batted .229 against them. He only batted .212 against southpaws. Johnson also performed much better when he played on the road. He batted .243 with 17 RBIs while on the road, and he batted .196 with 7 RBIs at home.
For the season, Johnson batted .222 with five home runs and 24 RBI’s. Johnson’s BB% did increase from 2015, but he did see his K% go up slightly from the previous year. Johnson’s OBP and his OPS both decreased, while his BABIP went from .353 in 2015 to .306 in 2016.
It appears as if Johnson is regressing, as his already mediocre numbers took a turn for the worse. Johnson can still be a decent platoon option at first base, but he can definitely not be the full-time starter at first base. He can still offer depth to any team, but most teams probably shouldn’t rely on him to produce offensively. Johnson is currently a free agent, and there is a chance (albeit small) that he will return to the Marlins. Miami is looking for a right-handed hitter that can play first base, which means Johnson could still return in 2017.