Johnny King boasts intriguing potential

Johnny King has quickly risen to prominence over the last year. The Florida high school left-handed pitcher has garnered the attention of MLB scouts due to his size, pitch mix and potential.

The added intrigue allowed King to participate in high-end showcase events last summer. King tried out for Team USA’s 18U National team and performed well, but he didn’t make the final roster.

King didn’t expect to get cut. The experience motivated him throughout his senior season and as he prepares for the next step in his career.

“I am going to make them pay for it,” King said.

King’s development and success have led to an increase in professional attention. Scouts believe King is the top pitcher in the Florida high school ranks. They also project him as a potential first-round pick in July’s MLB draft.

King doesn’t turn 18 until after the draft, making him one of the youngest players in this year’s class. 

“The draft doesn’t really affect me as much as it did at East Coast Pro and Team USA,” King said. “Last summer was my first time seeing them, and it was kind of intimidating. Now, it’s just not a problem at all. I don’t get nervous.”

King is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound left-handed pitcher who throws a fastball, curveball and changeup from a three-quarters arm slot and athletic delivery.

King relies heavily on his fastball and curveball combination. His fastball is a solid offering in the low 90s with sinking action. His curveball is his best offering and serves as his go-to strikeout pitch. He can land his curveball for strikes and generate swings and misses out of the strike zone. 

Over the last year, King has made strides with his changeup. He has gained more feel and confidence in the pitch, which shows the potential to be a quality swing-and-miss pitch in the future.

“The biggest strength in my game is my ability to have every pitch be competitive,” King said.

Scouts rave about King’s overall potential, especially since he is still 17 years old and has room to fill out. King figures to continue to increase his velocity as he matures physically while also honing in on his overall control and command of his pitches.

“Fastball velocity is a bigger thing,” King said. “That will come with time. I’m only 17 years old, and there is plenty of room to still fill out.”

King is an intriguing prospect and figures to start a pro career straight out of high school. But if he doesn’t, King is a Miami commit and eager about the potential to play for the Hurricanes. 

Miami is one of the premier programs in college baseball. Despite a down season this spring, the Hurricanes consistently qualify for the NCAA Tournament and have made 25 College World Series appearances since 1973. The program also consistently develops talent for pro ball.

“It was close to home, and it’s been my dream school ever since I was a little kid,” King said. “I’m really excited to play there. I also really like the coaches a lot. Very nice guys.”

Read more in-depth stories on top 2024 MLB draft prospects at Baseball Prospect Journal.

Video of Johnny King.

Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for nine years. He has interviewed 518 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today,, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III
Dan Zielinski III is the creator of the Baseball Prospect Journal and has covered the MLB draft since 2015. His draft work originally appeared on, a sports website he started in December 2011. He also covered the Milwaukee Brewers as a member of the credentialed media for four years. Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.

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