By David Folse II
Throughout the 2022 season, one of the criticisms of the LSU baseball team was its lack of left-handed pitching.
Jay Johnson and his coaching staff fixed that in a hurry.
The Tigers head coach went out and signed three of the best left-handed pitchers in the country for the 2023 class as Jake Brown out of Sulphur, Kade Anderson out of Covington and Cam Johnson out of IMG Academy all put ink to paper, signing their National Letters of Intent.
Transferring to perennial powerhouse IMG Academy out of Virginia last season, Cam Johnson is a hard-throwing 6-5, 243-pound lefty that Jay Johnson said in an interview with Culture Media “could be the top pick in the draft later in his career should he decide to come to LSU.”
(self scouting report) “I have a three-pitch mix. Fastball, change-up, slider and a circle change. Fastball sits mid 90’s, topping 97. Change-up is in the upper 80’s, top 89-90 here and there. The slider is like 77-78. I love using my fastball more to start the count off. My slider is something that I can throw 2-0, 2-1 or behind or even. The change-up I believe is going to be a great pitch for me this year. Trying a new grip and letting it work and getting the movement that I want.”
When it came to why he ended up signing with LSU, Johnson credited the coaching staff and the overall prestige of the program for why he wants to play in Baton Rouge.
“The staff is amazing and LSU just felt like home,” he said. “I love Coach (Jay) Johnson and (recruiting coordinator) Josh Jordan. (Pitching coach) Wes Johnson is great too. I just continue to feel very comfortable with the decision I made.
“Traveling down south where it is warmer and the quality of baseball there is grand. I get the chance to play with a fantastic quality of players at LSU too. A great combination of everything. I know I’m going to become an overall better human when I go to LSU. I want to help us win a National Championship.”
At one of the best athletic schools in the country at IMG Academy, Johnson of course wants to help his team win as many games as possible, but did say he has some specific goals in mind in his final season on the prep level.
“Continuing to work on my mental toughness and attacking hitters better,” he said. “That’s the main goal. Command all three of my pitches in crucial situations. Showing good composure and good body language even when things aren’t going as well as you hope they would.”
Of course, when fans see a left-handed pitcher that can top out in the mid 90’s, many believe Johnson will never step foot on the LSU campus and rather go to the Major Leagues. Johnson said when the time for that decision comes, he believes he has surrounded himself with a trusted group of people who will help him make the best decision for him.
“I have a good support system around me,” he said. “My adviser, financial adviser, pitching coach, dad, mom and brother; it all comes down to what is the best decision for me because in the end it’s my life. It’s my decision. I’m doing what’s best for me and my family and my career. I’m not paying attention to the outside direction. Is it going to be a tough decision? Of course, but that’s why I have a good support system around me.”