JOHN NOGOWSKI, FIRST BASEMAN
Born: January 5, 1993
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 245
Bats: Right
Throws: Left
Drafted: 34th Round, 1032nd Overall, 2014 (Athletics)
How Acquired: Trade (from Cardinals)
College: Florida State University
Agents: Optimum Baseball
WTM’s PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
Nogowski was a late-round draft pick of the A’s.  He’s played a little in the outfield, but is primarily a first baseman.  Speed is definitely not his game.  His trademark has always been very good BB:K ratios, as he mostly hasn’t hit for much power.  He started showing some over-the-fence power in 2018 and had his best season in AAA in 2019, which got him a little time in the majors with St. Louis.  He started struggling in AAA in 2021 and the Cards traded him to the Pirates for cash.

2014
R:  286/324/429, 35 AB, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 BB, 4 K
A-:  259/357/329, 158 AB, 8 2B, 1 HR, 20 BB, 23 K

Nogowski started off with a few games in rookie ball, then moved up to the New York-Penn League.  He showed very good plate discipline, but not much power.

2015
A+:  274/352/364, 354 AB, 20 2B, 4 HR, 39 BB, 47 K, 1-2 SB

The A’s moved Nogowski up to the California League, where he continued to show very good strike zone judgment but little power, especially considering the high-offense league he was in.

2016
A+:  285/354/410, 288 AB, 15 2B, 7 HR, 25 BB, 37 K, 0-1 SB
AA:  130/231/304, 23 AB, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 3 K

Except for a brief promotion to AA in late May, Nogowski spent the season in the Cal League.  His hitting improved a little.

2017
IND:  402/482/607, 117 AB, 12 2B, 4 HR, 18 BB, 17 K, 3-4 SB
AA:  295/378/382, 207 AB, 12 2B, 2 HR, 27 BB, 25 K, 2-2 SB

Oakland released Nogowski before the season started.  He caught on with Sioux City of the independent American Association and batted over .400, which may have prompted St. Louis to sign him to a minor league deal.  He went to AA and hit very much as before, with good patience and limited power.

2018
R:  349/415/554, 83 AB, 8 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 10 BB, 12 K, 4-4 SB
AA:  309/362/453, 298 AB, 10 2B, 12 HR, 41 BB, 21 K, 0-2 SB

Nogowski spent the season in AA, except he missed nearly two months in the middle of the season due to an injury and rehab assignment.  In AA, he took a step forward, hitting for more power than at any time before.  Of course, at 25 he was old for a prospect in AA.

2019
AAA:  295/413/476, 380 AB, 22 2B, 1 3B, 15 HR, 69 BB, 54 K, 1-3 SB

In AAA, Nogowski had his best minor league season.

2020
MLB:  250/250/250, 4 AB, 1 K

In the pandemic season, St. Louis added Nogowski to their 40-man roster in mid-August.  He only got into one major league game and spent the rest of his time at the alternate training site.

2021
AAA (StL):  195/304/297, 128 AB, 4 2B, 3 HR, 15 BB, 31 K, 3-3 SB
MLB (StL):  056/150/056, 18 AB, 1 BB, 2 K

The Cards brought Nogowski up several times from AAA and he got limited playing time in the majors.  In AAA he struggled, including a sharp drop in his plate discipline.  The issues could have resulted from a hand injury due to a hit batsman early in the year.  The Cards designated him for assignment in late June and traded him to the Pirates for cash.

The Pirates acquired Nogowski after Colin Moran and Erik Gonzalez got hurt; for some bizarre reason, they seem to regard the anemic-hitting Gonzalez as their alternative to Moran at first base.  They were unwilling throughout the first half of the season to take any steps to address their abysmal offense, so Nogowski seems to have been a desperation move.  There’s not much reason to believe he’ll help them score runs, but he’ll get a chance.

UPDATE:  Nogowski started off fast with the Pirates, going 21-for-48 (.438) in his first 12 games with the Pirates.  That made him something of a folk hero in Pittsburgh.  In his next 21 games, though, he went 8-for-63 (.127).  The Pirates designated him for assignment when they signed Yoshi Tsutsugo.  He cleared waivers and was sent to Indianapolis.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2021: Minor league salary
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2014
MLB Debut: 8/16/2020
MiLB FA Eligible: 2021
MLB FA Eligible: 2027
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: August 15, 2020 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 1 (USED:  2020, 2021)
MLB Service Time: 0.017
TRANSACTIONS
June 7, 2014: Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 34th round, 1032nd overall pick; signed on June 12.
March 27, 2017: Released by the Oakland Athletics.
June 27, 2017: Signed as a minor league free agent by the St. Louis Cardinals.
August 15, 2020: Contract purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals.
June 28, 2021: Designated for assignment by the St. Louis Cardinals.
July 3, 2021: Traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.
August 16, 2021: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates; outrighted to AAA on August 19.
Menu