Pierce Johnson was utilized as one of the team’s main relievers during the 2020 season. The former Missouri State product was originally drafted in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs but made just one appearance in the majors with the Cubs in 2017.
In September of that year, Johnson was waived and then picked up by the San Francisco Giants. After a lone year in SF, Johnson elected to become a free agent following the 2018 season before signing with the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball for the 2019 campaign where he ended up earning a nod as a NPB All-Star.
Johnson signed a two-year contract with the Padres on December 23 of 2019. In 2020, Johnson finished with a 3-1 record in 24 games played with 27 strikeouts. In 20 innings pitched, he allowed 15 hits, six earned runs, two homers, and nine walks.
Stats: (24 games, 20 IP) 3-1 record, 2.70 ERA, 27 strikeouts, 1.20 WHIP, 15 hits allowed, six earned runs, two home runs, nine walks
Game of the year
Tough to pick a significant performance out for a guy who didn’t pitch any longer than an inning at a time. Instead of a single game, it’s still worth mentioning that Johnson was solid all year long. He did his job, only twice not recording a a strikeout whenever he took the mound.