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SF Giants sign veteran 1B John Nogowski to minor league deal

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 04: John Nogowski #69 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a run batted in sacrifice fly in the sixth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on August 04, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 04: John Nogowski #69 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a run batted in sacrifice fly in the sixth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on August 04, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, John Nogowski
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 01: John Nogowski #69 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park. Nogowski signed a minor-league deal with the SF Giants on Wednesday. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

According to a report by Jessica Kleinschmidt of NBC Sports Bay Area, the SF Giants have signed first baseman John Nogowski to a minor-league contract. While the deal is technically a two-year deal, per Kleinschmidt, with the 2021 season coming to an end soon, it likely functions equivalently to a one-year deal signed in the coming offseason.

The SF Giants signed John Nogowski to a minor-league deal.

Nogowski was originally drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 34th round of the 2014 MLB draft, while current Giants president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi, was working in Oakland’s front office. However, he was released in March of 2017 after reaching Double-A in the A’s organization the previous season.

Nogowski soon joined the St. Louis Cardinals organization and continued climbing the minor-league ranks. After a career year at Triple-A in 2019, where he hit .295/.413/.476 with 69 walks and 54 strikeouts, Nogowski received his first big-league opportunity in 2020, going 1-for-4 in his lone game with the Cardinals.

This season, Nogowski earned a spot on St. Louis’ Opening Day roster as a bench bat. However, he received just 20 plate appearances in 19 games and struggled mightily. After producing a meager .056/.150/.056 triple-slash, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.

In Pittsburgh, Nogowski immediately became an everyday first baseman and found far more success at the plate. While he hit .261 in Pittsburgh, though, his .351 slugging percentage left something to be desired. On August 16th, the Pirates designated him for assignment.

Nogowski has always had a fantastic approach at the plate, walking nearly as much as he struck out at every minor-league stop. His sturdy 6’0”-245 lbs. frame has the potential to generate solid power but has yet to tap into it at the big-league level. However, the Giants have consistently bet on players with good patience at the plate finding a way to drive the ball. Next year, Nogowski will certainly get a chance to prove himself in spring training and will likely receive significant playing time at Triple-A.

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While it’s unlikely to impact the SF Giants in 2021, they added to their upper minor-league depth this week, signing John Nogowski to a minor-league contract.

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