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Johnson has been primarily used as a second baseman during his professional career, but he enhanced his versatility while combining to play 40 games in left and center field for Triple-A Oklahoma City this past season. The 26-year-old prospect will compete for a spot on Atlanta's bench, but there's a good possibility he will open the 2017 season with Triple-A Gwinnett.
While there was a chance Smith would have spent much of the upcoming season with Gwinnett, his departure created a need for the Braves to replenish some of the depth he would have provided with his speed and ability to play each of the outfield positions.
Johnson served as the White Sox primary second baseman when he broke into the Majors in 2015, but he was optioned to Triple-A in the middle of May and didn't return to the Majors until rosters were expanded in September. After being traded to the Dodgers as part of the three-team trade that brought Todd Frazier to the White Sox last offseason, Johnson played just seven games for Los Angeles during the 2016 season. He has batted .226 with a .563 OPS through the first 120 plate appearances of his big league career.
Johnson garnered some attention when he totaled 84 stolen bases (61 at the Class A level) while making his way through the lower levels of the Minors in 2013. He has not come close to duplicating that number since then, but he showed he still has some speed, as he stole 26 bases while hitting .261 with a .677 OPS over 516 plate appearances for Oklahoma City last year.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.