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Former NMSU Aggie Cracks Cleveland Indians’ Opening Day Roster

daniel johnson

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- A former New Mexico State University baseball player is headed to The Show.

Daniel Johnson, was added to the Cleveland Indians' Opening Day roster on Friday, becoming the fifth Aggie in program history to reach the MLB.

The former NMSU outfielder joins Fernando Ramsey, Mark Acre, Jason Rakers and Tyler Sturdevant on the all-time list of NM State's MLB representatives.

He is the first Aggie position player to earn a spot on an MLB roster since Ramsey did so in 1992. 

The Vallejo, Calif., native was selected by the Washington Nationals in the fifth round of the 2016 MLB Draft after a tremendous collegiate career in Las Cruces.

He was the the 2016 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, finishing that year's campaign nationally ranked fourth in hits (94) and fifth in runs scored (67).

Johnson ranked 16th nationally in stolen bases (29), 32nd in batting average (.382) and 40th in slugging percentage (.630) all while leading the WAC in batting average, hits, home runs, stolen bases and runs scored.

He was named an American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings Third Team All-American after the conclusion of the season.

A fast riser, Johnson tore threw his first full season of professional baseball in 2017. He slashed .298/.356/.505 with 22 home runs, 72 RBI and 22 stolen bases across two levels of Single-A ball.

Johnson was included in a 2018 trade between the Nationals and Indians, sending him to 'The Land' in a deal that was centered around All-Star catcher and World Series champion Yan Gomes.

Ranked as the 13th-best prospect in the Indians' minor-league system ahead of the 2020 campaign, Johnson was initially assigned to team's Alternate Training Site before he was called up on Friday.

New Mexico Sports / NMSU

Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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