February 05, 2007

Who is Ben Johnson

John Delcos at The Journal News writes a profile on the Mets pick up from San Diego, Ben Johnson:

But inside two weeks prior to spring training, Johnson - acquired in a trade this winter from San Diego - has no idea how much he'll play in his new city.

Considering the fragility of Moises Alou and Shawn Green, an educated guess is that even in a reserve role, Johnson will get more than the 120 at-bats he had last year and produce more than the .250 average, four homers and 12 RBI he gave the Padres.

"Nobody has said anything," Johnson said. "I don't expect to be handed anything. Do I think of what I could do if given 400 at-bats? Of course I do. If I got 400 at-bats, I think I could do some damage."

"He is versatile and plays all three outfield spots," general manager Omar Minaya said. "We feel he has yet to reach his potential."

Whatever Johnson's ceiling, the Mets don't believe it is as high as that of Lastings Milledge, whom the team wouldn't deal in reported trade talks with Oakland for Danny Haren and Rich Harden. Previously, the Mets had held on to Milledge when the incoming names would have been Barry Zito and Manny Ramirez.

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