Sioux City Explorers

Pirates purchase contract of Sioux City Explorers pitcher Patrick Johnson

The Pittsburgh Pirates have purchased the contract of Independent League hurler Patrick Johnson

The Pirates have purchased the contract of Sioux City Explorers pitcher Patrick Johnson. Johnson will report to spring training with the Pirates when pitchers and catchers report in the spring to earn a spot within the Pirates organization for the 2016 season.

Johnson, a 27-year-old Hickory, North Carolina, native, was drafted in the 25th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft by the Colorado Rockies out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Johnson had a dominant 2015 season for the Explorers as he posted a league-best 15 wins to only one loss. His 132 strikeouts were good for second most in the league while posting the league’s third best ERA at 2.08. Johnson’s 15 wins and 132 strikeouts were also Sioux City franchise records.

In his 20 starts for the Explorers in 2015, Johnson held opponents to a meager .194 average while walking just 40 hitters and tossing three complete games in his 134 innings of work.

Johnson continued his dominance into the 2015 American Association playoffs in which he won both his postseason starts for the X’s defeating St. Paul in the semifinals and Laredo in the championship series. He threw 13.2 stellar innings in post-season play, striking out 18 hitters while posting a 0.65 ERA. For his tremendous 2015 campaign, Johnson was named the American Association’s Pitcher of the Year. Johnson was also named to the 2015 American Association post-season all-star team. Baseball America listed Johnson as the fifth best prospect in their list of top Independent prospects.

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