Ben Johnson (Sweden)

From BR Bullpen

Benjamin Johnson

  • Bats Right, Throws Right

Biographical Information[edit]

Ben Johnson has played in the Elitserien and for the Swedish national team as have his brothers Daniel Johnson and Joel Johnson.

His father was an American missionary in Sweden who had played college baseball in the US and his mother was Swedish. [1] He made his Elitserien debut with the 2016 Sölvesborg Firehawks, going 2-2 with a 7.27 ERA and hitting .228/.301/.228. His .964 fielding percentage led infielders, .013 ahead of Arvid Carlstedt. [2] In the 2016 European Junior Championship, he allowed two runs in 2 1/3 IP but fanned four; he was 3 for 14 with a double, walk, two runs and a RBI while handling six putouts. [3]

Johnson stole 23 bases in 25 tries for the 2017 Firehawks as they won their first title. He also hit .287/.336/.305 and was 4-1 with two saves and a 3.62 ERA. He finished among leaderboards in offense (steals, 2nd, 10 behind Shane Salley), fielding (fielding % at 2B, .944, 1st by .021 over Christoffer Granström) and pitching (ERA - 10th; saves - tied for first with Salley, Moisses Pargas and Simon Andersson; wins - tied for 4th). [4] He did well in the round-robin phase of the 2018 Federations Cup (.320/.393/.320, 10 R, 5 RBI, 4 SB, 0 CS in 5 G; .939 FLD %, 0-1, 2.25), losing to the host Brasschaat Braves and Robin Roevens). He tied Blake Ochoa and Lucas Rizzi for second in runs (one behind Emmanuel Febles), tied Hector Acuna, Kestas Vilimas and Yves Poesmans for 7th in hits (8), tied for first in steals, was 5th in ERA, led in opponent average (.185, .006 ahead of veteran Eddie Aucoin, 25 years his elder) and led in assists (15, one ahead of Edison Valeria and Febles). In the finale, he was 0 for 4 with a run and handled 8 chances error-free in his team's loss to the Astros Valencia. [5]

In the '18 Elitserien, he continued to progress, producing at a .378/.459/.426 clip. He stole 10 bases in 13 tries, scored 28 runs, was 1-0 with a 3.91 ERA and fielded .950. He was 6th in average (between Evan Opperman and Simon Emanuelsson), 10th in OBP (between his brother Joel and Per Sjörs) and tied for 6th in steals. [6] The next season, the Firehawks won their second title and he was 3-3 with two saves and a 3.49 ERA, but his offense fell (.245/.281/.280, 4 SB). He tied for the league lead in saves, was 8th in ERA (between Jesper Svedhem and Christian Keene) and tied for 10th in wins. [7]

He debuted for the Swedish senior national team in the 2019 European Championship. In his first game, he relieved Daniel Linder in the 8th with a 5-1 deficit. He allowed a hit to Marco Cardoso, then Alex Schmidt hit into a force. Kevin Kotowski doubled in a run and Sascha Lutz walked. He retired Simon Gühring but Donald Lutz singled to make it 7-1 and a Max Boldt single scored another. Erik Marquardsen then relieved. In three appearances in the 2019 Euros, he was roughed up for 19 hits and 13 runs (12 earned) in 5 1/3 IP. He did not have Sweden's highest ERA as Jakob Syrén and Marquardsen both finished higher. He tied Artuur Driessens for the most hits allowed in the event, tied Nino Kruhek for 2nd in runs allowed (one behind Driessens) and allowed the most earned runs (one more than Kruhek or Svedhem). [8]

In 2020 (a season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic), he hit .309/.395/.422 with 27 runs, 16 RBI and 8 steals in 10 tries. He was 5-1 with a save and a 1.58 ERA. He was second to Pargas in ERA, 3rd in strikeouts, 3rd in wins, tied for first in saves, tied for 4th in RBI, third in runs, led in doubles (8, one ahead of Terrell Joyce and Nicklas Melin) and tied his brother Daniel for third in steals (behind Pontus Byström and brother Joel). [9] In the last game of the finals, he struck out ten in seven innings, allowing one run to beat Melin and the Sundbyberg Heat; his brother Joel closed it out. [10]

Sources[edit]