Originally written on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Houston-astros-louis
In late January the Atlanta Braves traded prized third baseman, Martin Prado and five prospects to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for outfielder Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson.  It was the blockbuster deal of the off season due to the fact that Braves GM Frank Wren united Justin with his older brother, B.J. in the Atlanta outfield. But to many baseball fan's surprise, it has been Johnson that has become the real star of the trade. And he has made his case as one of the premier hitting third basemen in the National League and a potential batting title. Meant to be a platoon player with Juan Francisco at third baseman, Johnson took over as the everyday starter at the hot corner after the Braves designated Juan Francisco for assignment in late May. A four-year veteran, Johnson began his career with the Houston Astros and was traded midway through the 2012 season to Arizona. This season, the 28-year-old is hitting .334 with 144 hits, 10 home runs, and 58 runs batted in. Since becoming eligible to contend for the batting title in the National League, Johnson has either been ahead or neck and neck with Cardinals catcher, Yadier Molina for highest batting average.  If Johnson does indeed win the coveted batting title, it will be the first time a Braves player has won the coveted award since the man Johnson replaced, Chipper Jones, won it back in 2009. With this incredibly successful season for Johnson, the question that arises comes with great respect for Johnson's great season. The question is: How is Chris Johnson having such a breakout season, and yet not be known to the everyday baseball fan?  The answer, a simple one, can be broken down in two ways.  In the high-profile nature of the trade, Johnson's name was overshadowed by the superstar potential of Upton uniting with his brother in the outfield for the Braves. When news broke of the trade between the two clubs, I and many other Braves fans thought that because manager Fredi Gonzalez said he would have a platoon at third base, Chris Johnson would be nothing but an average and forgettable third baseman.  When Francisco was sent for assignment, Johnson's role  grew into the everyday starter role and he thrived from the first at-bat. The other component of how Johnson has had such a successful season comes from his up bringing in the Major Leagues.  Having been under the umbrella of such a small market franchise such as the Astros, Johnson's season after season consistency was not shown off to major market teams. Having hit progressively better each and every season, Johnson moved from middle-level teams like the Diamondbacks and now to the Braves, still overshadowed by the stars on the team. As a Braves fan, I want Johnson to not only win the National League batting title but also do it as the unforgettable threat that the Atlanta Braves have standing at the hot corner. I also highly doubt that he will play up to his predecessor's immortal initials of "C.J." but Chris Johnson is shaping himself up to be a dynamic force in the newly rejuvenated lineup for the Atlanta Braves for many years to come. By: Neil Shelat Twitter: @NeilShelat6                              
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Celtics looking to make LeBron's life difficult in playoff series

WATCH: Luke Rockhold chokes out Lyoto Machida

WATCH: Masai Ujiri fires up Raptors fans with expletive

Andre Johnson: Signing with Colts not about revenge

Pete Rose joining FOX as baseball analyst

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce around time of relapse

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

WATCH: Raptors fans shower Paul Pierce with vulgar taunts

Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

Report: Todd Gurley's knee checks out well in evaluation

WATCH: All 286 3-pointers Steph Curry made this season

WATCH: Devan Dubnyk makes great save while leaving net

Sabres GM not happy about losing draft lottery

Yordano Ventura ejected for plunking Brett Lawrie

Five early takeaways from the 2015 MLB season

WATCH: Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer cup, chugs it

WATCH: Cardale Jones throws ball 74 yards during contest

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

WATCH: Bubba Watson raps on Christian rap track

WATCH: Jags mascot wins closest to pin at Sawgrass

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce from wife

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.