No Spring Break for Former BU Outfielder
Matty Johnson preps for third season with Red Sox
A Florida vacation sure seems like a good idea in mid-February.
Matty Johnson is packing his bags, but he isn’t heading south for rest and relaxation. Johnson is going to work. The former Bellevue University outfielder will be headed to spring training as a member of the Boston Red Sox organization.
Johnson will be starting his third year with the Red Sox. He spent last season splitting time between the Lowell (Massachusetts) Spinners (Short Season A) and the Salem (Virginia) Red Sox (A). A dislocated shoulder hampered him last season, but he goes into spring training at 100 percent.
“I’m feeling good,” Johnson said. “It’s different when you get to spring training. It’s like starting over again. You’ve been working out the whole offseason. I’m just trying to get in the best shape possible, get mentally prepared, and try to open some eyes.”
While Johnson is gearing up to go to work for the Red Sox, he has some unfinished business in Bellevue. He is still short of his Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance. He plans to wrap up his degree during the 2013 offseason.
With Tranquility Park within walking distance of his apartment, Johnson will stroll down to catch a Bellevue University soccer match on occasion and see some of his old professors. They won’t let him forget about finishing his degree.
“I see some people there and they always ask me about going back to school. That means a lot to me,” Johnson said. “The first thing they ask me is am I going back to school and not about baseball.”
Johnson went undrafted following a standout senior season for the Bruins in 2010. He posted a .427 batting average that season and collected 26 stolen bases en route to earning second team NAIA All-American honors. He moved on to the Gateway Grizzles (Sauget, Illinois), an independent team in the Frontier League. He continued his hot hitting with a .313 average and was named Baseball America’s top independent league prospect.
Then the Red Sox called.
“I didn’t even believe it at first. I thought it was a joke,” Johnson said. “My coach from the frontier league called me and said the Red Sox are going to be calling you in about 10 minutes. I was actually watching TV thinking about where I was going to apply for work. It was a good call for me because I was going to get to do what I want to do — get a chance to be successful and take care of my family.”
While the shoulder injury limited Johnson to 200 at-bats last season, he did enjoy a career highlight when he participated in the Futures at Fenway game on August 18, 2012 along with other top Red Sox prospects. He reached base twice in the game and also stole a base.
During his time with the Red Sox, Johnson has interacted with several baseball bigwigs, including current Red Sox hitting star David Ortiz.
“I was in the dugout and David Ortiz said ‘hey you, come here.’ And I was like he can’t be talking to me,” Johnson said. “He put his arm around me and said ‘I haven’t seen anybody that fast in a long time.’ He said ‘you keep playing the game hard and playing it the right way and you’ll be playing a long time’.”
Pitchers and catchers reported for spring training February 11-14, while position players report February 15-20. The Red Sox spring training facility is in Fort Myers, Florida. Follow Matty Johnson on twitter at @GoldGloveMJ.
Error while processing your submission.
There was an error while trying to process your submission. We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience.
Please reach out to one of our Admission Counselors and they can answer any questions you have at 1-800-756-7920 (option 1). The Admissions office is open Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (CST) and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (CST).
Congratulations on taking your first step towards earning your degree!
At Bellevue University, our passion is to help you get started and support you all along the way. In fact, we’ve found that many students have benefited from our complimentary “Smarter Measure” Self-Assessment which will help you prepare for success. Again, this is a free service.
Your User Name: ready
Your Password: ready
Just click here to start. Smarter Measure
Thanks again. We look forward to working with you!