By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – R.J. Johnson may be described as a quiet leader, but his numbers are far from silent.
Starkville High’s right-handed pitcher and shortstop batted .493 with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs this past spring. He went 4-2 on the mound with a 2.73 earned run average and 83 strikeouts in 482⁄3 innings.
That was good enough to make him the Milwaukee Brewers’ 36th-round selection (1,089th overall).
“He’s just a leader in a quiet way,” said Starkville High baseball coach Danny Carlisle. “He’s not a rah-rah type leader. He just tries to lead by example.”
The Brewers have seemed to develop a liking for pitchers out of the division Starkville competes in, taking Tupelo’s Lex Rutledge last year in the 26th round.