The Pittsburgh Pirates have purchased right-handed pitcher Patrick Johnson from the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association. Johnson was recently rated as the fifth best prospect in independent ball by Baseball America. He was originally a 25th round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2011. He was voted the American Association’s Pitcher of the Year in 2015.
Johnson is 5’10” and 27 years old. According to the BA report, he mixes a 90-94 mph fastball with a solid average breaking ball and a change-up. Out of high school, BA rated him as a top 200 draft prospect.
He topped out at High-A in the Rockies system and has spent the last two seasons in independent ball. In 2015, he had a 2.35 ERA in 134 innings, with 132 strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP. He made 20 starts and lost just once. He is currently playing winter ball in Venezuela, where he has an 0.96 ERA in seven starts, holding the opposition to a .228 BAA.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
Having known Patrick and his family for many years I’m extremely excited about this signing… He’s a reliever now and a quality pitcher who is on the small side hopefully he’ll make it to the pirates and be a lights out reliever..
That would be awesome. Pulling for the guy.
Where is it anticipated that he will start out?
or like JH and start in Altoona?
I think this guy will be a reliever. He’s small and I’m sure they are expecting the velocity to play up from the pen. He was a guy with poor control but big K numbers his whole career but he found good control last year. He has a sub 1.00 whip over the last 8 months in over 140 innings, definitely something worth taking a chance on.
This is why you scout the Indy Leagues. There are guys with tools. If PJ turns out to be anything remotely useful, then the Pirates have increased however slightly the value of their system.
Baby steps. If the man turns out to be a big league reliever, it’s a golden opportunity for the pitcher and value for the club. I would think for PJ is in the right system to maximize his tools.
Did seem like that kinda move, I assumed the same when reading his profile. Ability to throw 3 average or better pitches, not a ton of velo, and needing improved control. Might be overmatched as a SP, but throw him in relief and maybe add 1-2 mph and some better command.
Or he gets released before the end of ST and literally no one remembers this move. Late November, aint it fun.
Not to bash you, but no velo? I thought throwing 90 to 94 is pretty good?
He is still better than Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke
Yeah,sure he is. That’s why he has been in Indy ball, right ? Get in line with Arthur.
I want to stay out of this firefight, but BH1981 got my sweet spot.
I think both Morton and Locke are useless below average pitchers and if one or both make next year’s roster, NH will have failed…even if he signs FA/1B Chris Davis.
Yeah, from the looks of that comment, you SHOULD stay out of the discussion !
Umm, the Pirates are not going to pay what Chris Davis will get. I am not a “Nutting only cares about his wallet guy”, but come on now.
Full year ranking of MLB starters with at least 100 innings.
Makes Locke a low #3
Morton a mid range #4
The “grass is always greener” bias distorts reality
The grass will no longer be greener since we fired the Head Groundskeeper 🙁
I just know this move had to do with the time Cutch was endangered by the tarp in the windstorm.
OMG we saw our MVP flash before our windswept eyes.
It’s a twister! It’s a twister!
I assume that was sarcasm, esp after the article Tim wrote about them.
There’s people that think that way Lee.
He still better than Charlie Martin and Jeff Locke
I know he has been a starter – but this has the feel of someone who might be converted to relief role – the kind of move the Pirates are actually pretty good at.
Or he could be an MLB spot starter?
I think it is a good signing.
only worry is the size – 5′ 10″ – sure the Bucs will try and work their pitcher magic – we shall see.
You obviously are going by the Pirates track record with pitchers like this….not the “eye test”…..
(Unless you get to,a lot of independent league games 🙂 )
As you said yesterday on the Asylum….I know about ALL the prospects. 🙂 🙂 🙂 :
But…….This guy we signed is no Andury Acevedo, that’s for sure. 🙂 🙂
Both of us never heard of this guy until today……so….time will tell if it is a good signing.
But minor league contract and no 40 man spot….no sweat
nothing to lose……
Minor league contract or 40 man roster?
Minor league deal
Round 2 of “this is how we attack the offseason compared to our rivals? Typical…” posts after a seemingly innocent move.
Fools are going to say foolish stuff Luke.
Now that they have that under control, they need to start looking for a Head Groundskeeper.
Glad to see the Pirates have their off season priorities lined up.
Isn’t this how they picked up John Holzkom? Not that it’s a newsmaker but it can’t hurt. Oh but we haven’t traded away a starter… So people could kvetch about how we got fleeced dumping salary. Or signed a free agent… So people could kvetch about dumpster diving/overpaying.
So let’s kvetch about giving a tiny payday to some joe who may/probably hasn’t, figured how to pitch. Nice.
You gotta put some kvechup on that.
I remember when we signed Grilli and Caminero and …….
WTF do Grilli and Cameniro have to do with a guy pitching in freaking independent ball?
Extremes on the baseball blogs, always.
As I told LJS
The point was: innocuous signings often turn out pretty good.
That is what Grilli and Caminero have to do with a guy pitching in ‘freaking’ Indy ball.
No, that’s apples and oranges. And you know it.
Very much a Luke comment.
Again, id kindly ask you to not use my name in comments that have 0 to do with me if all you want to do is insult me for no reason. Its petty, and i see no reason for it beyond just being childish.
It is the internet, but we dont have to act like a comment section of a Facebook post. Maybe “let a comment go” and not get into snide arguments about the woeful state of blogs….that you choose to partake in.
Considering how you always pick on guys intelligence on this site, I’m gonna say and do what I want. Until you stop doing that. Go copy and paste of something of off Fangraphs, show everyone how “smart” you are, in the meantime.
Again, 0 reason for the attacks. You are going out of your way to make this personal, and it’s never been that.
I have never sought someone out and said they lack intelligence. If I feel an argument is dumb, I say it. It’s about the argument, not the person. We are all fans of the same team. You make it about the person.
Uhhhhh…no it isn’t. But, whatever. And, I wasn’t aware that Luke had a style of commenting.
It’s gone from one extreme to another on Pirate blogs now. It used to be you couldn’t say anything positive. Now every critique gets ridiculed.
Some of you guys need to stop the lecturing honestly. Just let a comment go.
I’m gonna call the hall monitors on you guys.
Yeah. What a waste o’ time. Da bums!
LJS probably griped about those too. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Actually I was for the Grilli signing, I was for the Cervelli signing. I was for the Martin signing. I could have given a hoot about Caminero. Anything else you want to “think” that I “thought”?
The point was: innocuous signings often turn out pretty good. And there are always people like you that belittle them.
And I didn’t belittle this signing. See:
The only reason someone would imply that picking up a minor league arm in any way affects major league moves, is (a) they have no ability to observe and comprehend how baseball actually works, or (b) they just like to complain.
how about the pirates try to score a run in a playoff game, now there’s a complaint.
I guess you missed the whole point as many of you do here. The big news today out of Pittsburgh was that they fired their Heads Groundskeeper. Did you think I made that up? That is what I meant by having your priorities in order.
Pretty sure your point was that they should be focusing first on the major league club and not these less significant signings. Do you really think that MLB executives can’t work more than one deal in parallel? Or that they ignored GMs calling about Walker so that they could complete the Patrick Johnson deal? These Holzkom-like signings probably take 5 minutes to complete- the Pirates offer the guy a steak dinner and he signs. To imply that this signing may have diverted NH’s attention from any other conversation is silly.
it sounded like major sarcasm as if you were belittling this signing (as many do). I think the ‘Good Grief’ kinda ‘sealed the deal’ and led us to believe that.
If you weren’t belittling this signing then my apology. If you were, everything I’ve said stands.
Semantics, people. The lost art of the internet age.
There is an art to the printing of words and achieving the meaning you intend. This is why Skynet will never actually take over.
Can I Triple Like this comment?
Do what you want Lee. You saw the tree but didn’t see the forest.l
Well, gee LJS….6 other people joined me, but feel free to blast only me…I have broad shoulders.
Actually, your shoulders are rather slender…. Manly… But slender.
Time to start the Cy Young campaign. Maybe the Pirates can have a promotion where people wear PJ’s to the stadium when he pitches.
Seriously, if he can command 3 pitches and sit at 92 with the FB he has a chance to be a useful starter.
Injury replacement, a la, Sadler, Compton, etc?