11/20/2015 9:55 AM
PATRICK JOHNSON HEADING TO PITTSBURGH PIRATES ORGANIZATION
RHP BECOMES 2nd X’S PLAYER TO JOIN MLB TEAM SINCE END OF RECORD BREAKING 2015 SEASON
SIOUX CITY, IA – The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the Pittsburgh Pirates have purchased the contract of Explorers RHP 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, NC 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 1 loss. His 132 strikeouts were good for 2nd most in the league while posting the league’s 3rd 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 3 complete games in his 134 innings of work.
Johnson continued his dominance into the 2015 American Association playoffs in which he won both his post-season 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 5th best prospect in their list of top Independent prospects.
The X’s originally signed Johnson in 2014 where he made 19 starts and tallied a 9-7 record while pitching 111.2 innings. He recorded a team high 106 strikeouts to just 65 walks with a 4.59 ERA. For his efforts in 2014, Johnson was twice named the American Association’s pitcher of the week (June 22nd and July 13th). He also represented the Explorers in the 2014 American Association All-Star Game held in Winnipeg, MB.
Prior to joining the X’s in 2014, Johnson pitched the previous 3 seasons in the Colorado Rockies organization. In his three seasons in the Rockies organization, he accumulated a 4.31 ERA while recording 130 strikeouts in 119 innings pitched. In 5 professional seasons, the Hickory, NC native is 31-18 with a 3.28 ERA in 126 games (58 starts). In 414.2 career innings pitched, Johnson has struck out 421 batters while only yielding 176 walks.
With Johnson’s signing by the Pirates organization, the Sioux City Explorers have now had two player’s contracts purchased by an affiliated organization since the completion of the 2015 season (Rob Wort – Boston Red Sox).
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