Originally posted on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 9/3/13
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                              
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Tony Romo likely out 8-10 weeks

Late appeal moves NFL concussion settlement to the Supreme Court

NHL adds meldonium to banned substances list

Report: Chances of Jonathan Papelbon signing ‘non-existent’

Chris Bosh isn’t pleased with the Miami Heat

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL clears players in HGH investigation

NFL execs: Kaepernick 'traitor,' hated as much as Carruth

Kansas FB settling first-team reps with Rock-Paper-Scissors

Report: Vikings trainers saved Bridgewater's 'leg and career'

Baylor's Zamora suspended 3 games for beating his dog

Craig Sager to undergo third bone marrow transplant

2016 offers more lessons for the NFL on domestic violence

Twitch works to highlight gamers with disabilities

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal opens up about worst game of career

The NBA's worst signature shoes

The barren wasteland of available NFL quarterbacks

College football conference breakdown, Week 1

Kevin Owens is the right WWE Champion at the right time

Jake Arrieta almost quit baseball before trade to Cubs

Fred Taylor: NFL doctors never told me about multiple injuries

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

Kanye West, Saint Pablo Tour and the anti-celebrity

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

2016 offers more lessons for the NFL on domestic violence

Twitch works to highlight gamers with disabilities

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal opens up about the worst game of his career

The NBA's worst signature shoes

The barren wasteland of available NFL quarterbacks

College football conference breakdown, Week 1

WATCH: Lorenzo Neal on the one move that caused the demise of the Chargers

The hottest MLB pitchers headed into September sprint

West-ern Literature: How Kanye's fans find meaning in between the lines

Madden 17's live commentary tackles Kaepernick controversy

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker