So far this offseason the Boston Red Sox have traded pitching prospects Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa and Anthony Ranaudo, and released Drake Britton.

That stockpile of young arms Boston compiled has dwindled. But there are still plenty of pitchers to talk about.

The Red Sox still see a future for Matt Barnes, Steven Wright, Henry Owens and Eduardo Rodriguez.

And oh yes, Brian Johnson.

It’s not that Johnson, 24, is being overlooked – he was a supplemental round draft pick (31st overall) in 2012.

It’s just that the other pitchers seem to attract the spotlight more.

That should change soon.

“He’s someone we were very excited about,” said Ben Crockett, the Red Sox director of player development.

Johnson didn’t begin last season in Portland, but after arriving quickly showed he was ready for Double-A. Johnson compiled a 10-2 record with a 1.75 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP (walks/hits per inning).

Johnson doesn’t have to be placed on the 40-man roster yet, but Boston invited to major league spring training later this month.

That’s quite a change from last spring, when Johnson was trying to establish himself.

Johnson was still coming back from being hit by a line drive while pitching for Lowell in 2012. He made 17 starts in Class A in 2013, but the Red Sox and Johnson still weren’t sure of his ability.

He came into spring training last year with a chance to go to Portland but was sent back down to Class A.

“I ended up going to Salem, which was huge for me,” Johnson said. “(Salem pitching coach Kevin Walker) helped me with my mechanics, keeping it simple.”

The tuneup worked.

After five starts he was in Portland, though in the shadow of another left-hander, the touted Owens. Catcher Blake Swihart noticed the similarities right away.

“They’re both competitive. Both have sneaky fastballs,” Swihart said.

That “sneaky” description means Johnson and Owens do not have Randy Johnson high-90-mph heat. But they have enough deception, and a solid selection of other pitches, to make their low-90s fastballs work just fine.

“And (Johnson’s) cutter can sneak past people,” Swihart said.

The curve is also an out pitch and the change-up made huge strides last year.

“All four of his pitches ticked up a little bit,” Crockett said. “He continues to repeat his delivery and to his credit, he’s been able to do it so consistently.”

That consistency stems from a single-mindedness in Johnson. Sure, there is plenty of competition among Boston’s prospects, but this isn’t Johnson vs. Owens or Johnson vs. Barnes.

“I don’t think about it like that,” Johnson said. “If I go out every five days and give everything I’ve got – and prepare between (the starts) – that’s all I can really do.

“I’ll leave those questions (about promotions) up to Crockett and whoever decides on that stuff … I have to focus on my program and my bullpens. That’s all I can control.”

Johnson loves the art of preparation – the bullpen sessions and preparing for the next start. During last month’s rookie camp for Boston’s top prospects, Johnson sought out former Red Sox catcher (and now instructor) Jason Varitek.

“I just asked him about all the guys he caught and how they prepared,” Johnson said. “That was huge for me.”

And now we’ll see if Johnson will play a huge part in the Red Sox plans. He is almost certainly bound for Triple-A Pawtucket. There he will await his call while always preparing.

THE NEW pitch clock being implemented in Triple-A and Double-A minor league games won’t bother Johnson. He is one of the fastest-working pitchers in baseball.

While pitching for the University of Florida, Johnson was under a pitch clock in conference games.

“We had it in the (Southeastern Conference) and I didn’t notice it,” Johnson said. “If you work at a quick pace, it’s fine. It really hurts the hitter more, especially guys who want to step out (of the batter’s box).”

DRAKE BRITTON was designated for assignment when the Red Sox signed reliever Alexi Ogando last week. The Cubs claimed him off waivers.