Nicholas Robert Johnson (born September 19, 1978 in Sacramento, California) is a first baseman in Major League Baseball, currently with the Washington Nationals. He graduated from C. K. McClatchy High School.
He previously played with the New York Yankees between and , and with the Montreal Expos in . Johnson is known for his patience and discipline at the plate which have led to a high career on-base percentage of .395 through the season. Lifetime, with the bases loaded, he has a .385 batting average and .468 obp, with 39 RBI in 39 at bats.
He participated in the 1999 and 2001 Futures Game during All-Star Weekend, playing for the United States team.
Johnson has a .446 lifetime minor league OBP.
In 2004, his first, and last season with the Montreal Expos, because of their relocation to Washington at the end of the season, injuries struck again. He could not play until May 28 because of a back injury, and struggled after initial success. By the time his season was ended by a ball hit to first that took a bad hop and broke his cheekbone, he was down to a .251/.359/.398 line. The back injury was another troubling sign regarding his fragility; in addition, the year was a disappointment as far as his hitting was concerned.
In , with the new Washington Nationals, Johnson compiled a performance more reminiscent of his 2003 season than of his injury-riddled 2004 campaign. He hit .289/.408 (sixth best in the league)/.479, and had a .478 OBP with runners in scoring position. Johnson batted cleanup for most of the season, despite the fact that he has a much higher OBP than the third place hitter on the team — Jose Guillen — and Guillen had more raw power, which would come in handy when Johnson is on base over 40% of the time.
In , Johnson hit .290/.428/.520, in his best year so far. The .428 OBP was the 4th highest in the league. He was second in the NL in walk percentage 18.0%), third in walks (110), seventh in doubles (46) and intentional walks (15), and tenth in times hit by pitch (13). He had a .454 OBP with runners in scoring position. Johnson had his worst season to date in the field, however, with 15 errors.
Returning from his broken leg in 2006, Johnson played in the National's spring training games in . Though he was off to a rocky start, he regained his form and is competing with Dmitri Young, his replacement in and the 2007 recipient of the NL Comeback Player of the Year Award, for the role of starting first baseman.
The Nationals confirmed that Johnson would open the season as their starting first baseman over teammate Dmitri Young.
On March 30, 2008, Johnson knocked in the first RBI in the new baseball stadium for the Nationals.