The Kansas City T-Bones and manager Tim Doherty are excited to announce that the contract of Blue Springs native Kris Johnson has been purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Johnson, 27, had a stellar debut with the T-Bones in 2011, going 6-3 with a 3.23 ERA in 16 starts after joining the team in June. The left-hander allowed just 98 hits in 111 1/3 innings while finishing fourth in the American Association in ERA. Johnson also finished fourth in opponent’s average with a .237 mark.
The left-hander posted two complete games for Kansas City in 2011, including a six-hit shutout versus Sioux Falls on August 24. Johnson also flirted with a no-hitter at Lincoln on July 13, falling just five outs shy of the feat.
“This is another fantastic day for the T-Bones organization,” Doherty said. “We are happy for Kris and wish him well. He has the talent to succeed and was able to use his time in Kansas City to focus and improve on his game. Hopefully he is able to follow the same path that Justin James and Erik Hamren took (to the major league level).”
Johnson was a first-round draft choice (40th overall) out of Wichita State University by the Boston Red Sox in the 2006 amateur draft. He advanced as high as Triple-A Pawtucket in just four seasons, reaching the International League for the first time in 2009. The left-hander earned Pitcher of the Week honors with Double-A Portland in 2008, and was named one of Boston’s top pitching prospects by Baseball America that season.
A product of Blue Springs (MO) High School, Johnson threw five no-hitters before committing to Wichita State. As a freshman in 2004, he was named a First-Team Freshman All-American after going 7-0 with a Missouri Valley Conference-best 2.01 ERA. Johnson finished his college career 16-2 with a 2.94 ERA in 32 games, 30 starts, with the Shockers.
Season tickets and mini-plan packages for the T-Bones’ 10th anniversary season are on sale now. Single-game tickets will go on sale in late-March. For more information, and to secure your season tickets for next season, call 913-328-5640. Stay tuned to www.tbonesbaseball.com and the T-Bones’ Facebook page for updates throughout the year.