Trevor Johnson ’20 continues family’s Big Green legacy
Trevor Johnson ’20 has made a name for himself during his first season as the Big Green’s centerfielder. The first year had a stellar rookie campaign, appearing in 39 of Dartmouth’s 40 games during the season, starting 38 of them. He finished the season batting .250, hitting primarily out of the leadoff spot, tallying four home runs and 21 RBIs. His efforts were rewarded with two Ivy League rookie of the week selections and one co-player of the week throughout the season.
Dartmouth has always been a part of Johnson’s life. Both of his parents were athletes for the Big Green while in college. His father, Mark Johnson ’90, was a two-sport athlete who played football and baseball, and spent eight years playing professional baseball as a first basemen and outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Anaheim Angels and New York Mets. His mother, Jennifer Johnson ’90, competed on the women’s track and field team. As a result, Trevor Johnson grew up visiting Hanover and following Dartmouth sports, and his strong family history played a role in his college selection process.
“[My recruiting process] was a little bit different because my dad actually was the first captain for [baseball head coach Bob] Whalen,” Johnson said. “So [Dartmouth] started recruiting me really early, maybe as early as my freshmen year.”
Trevor Johnson was a highly touted prospect coming out of the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he was an outfielder and relief pitcher. While at Brunswick, he was named the MSG Varsity Connecticut Player of the Year and was named to the All-Metro First Team, Perfect Game Northeast Region Second Team and twice named to the All-FAA First Team. He played varsity baseball for a year at Rye High School in Rye, New York, before spending his remaining three years at Brunswick.
“I think Whalen did a good job of noticing Trevor early,” Mark Johnson said.
It is easy to see how his parents’ athletic success could place major league expectations on Trevor Johnson. However, Whalen made it clear just how much he values him on an individual level.
“We wanted to treat him like his own man, and we certainly didn’t get involved in the recruiting process with him because his mom and dad went to Dartmouth or because his dad played for me here ... I am always going to have a good relationship with his parents because they were students here when I first came,” Whalen said. “But we want him to know this is about him and not his parents.”
It seems Dartmouth was the right decision for Trevor Johnson, as he has performed well both academically and athletically. His transition to college baseball has come with notable ease but not without surprises.
“You see constant good pitching and good players [at the college level],” Trevor Johnson said. “But baseball is five to six hours of your day everyday, which I wasn’t expecting.”
Johnson’s innate athletic ability and baseball instincts have helped to ease the move to college ball.
“[Trevor Johnson is] an excellent athlete ... but over and beyond that he has what coaches would refer to as a very high baseball IQ,” Whalen said. “He has a good understanding of situational baseball, of things that come up that are harder to teach like base running.”
This understanding has come from years of playing baseball.
“He is a student of the game,” Mark Johnson said. “He is a smart player and understands the game and what he is supposed to be doing.”
Trevor Johnson said his parents have played an instrumental role in his development into the player he is today.
“My dad has coached me in every aspect of the game, which I credit him with a lot of my success, as well as my mom who ran track here,” Trevor Johnson said. “It seemed like I was destined to be here.”
Given his early success and his family pedigree, a natural question is whether professional baseball is in Trevor Johnson’s future. His father, who can speak from experience, believes it is a possibility.
“He has the talent to do it,” Mark Johnson said. “A lot of it comes down to hard work which he is willing to do.”
Destiny aside, Trevor Johnson figures to be a stronghold in the outfield for the Big Green for the next three years.