Speedster Johnson trying to accelerate path to Majors

Speedster Johnson trying to accelerate path to Majors

CHICAGO -- Micah Johnson leads all of baseball with his 84 stolen bases between 2013 stops at Class A Kannapolis, Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. He also has been thrown out 26 times, which Johnson considers part of the successful base-stealing process.

"A lot of it is confidence," said Johnson during a Thursday conference call involving Birmingham, which is playing Mobile in the Southern League championship series. "A lot of players will steal and get thrown out a few times and give up on it.

"That's the heart of it. There are a lot of fast guys. You just can't be scared when you are stealing bases."

Johnson, the White Sox No. 15 prospect, has a combined .312 average with 106 runs scored and 15 triples over 131 games. For the second baseman to continue that climb to the White Sox, his speed certainly will be a factor.

"I definitely think it will, being my main thing, my main attribute, getting on base," Johnson said. "Defensively, too. You use speed and quick bursts to get to balls behind second base and save a run or stop a ball deep in the hole to get a guy out or stop a run from scoring. You can steal two bases and score on a sacrifice fly or a ground ball to the shortstop. It will help me get to the big leagues, and it can help the team win."

"It's electric to see him play out there because he does so many things to help you win," Birmingham manager Julio Vinas said. "He hits a routine ground ball, and the infield panics because he's so much quicker."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.