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.