The Pittsburgh Pirates signed 29-year-old second baseman Sherman Johnson to a minor league deal last week. He was with the team last night as an extra, but did not get into the game.
Johnson had some brief big league time during the 2018 season while with the Los Angeles Angels. He joined the team in mid-September and went 0-for-10 in ten games, reaching base once via hit-by-pitch. Johnson started two games at second base, played five games at second off of the bench, and saw some brief time at first base.
Johnson is a .250/.362/.380 hitter over eight minor league seasons, though those stats include a large amount of time playing in two hitter-friendly parks in the California League and the Pacific Coast League. He has 107 stolen bases, though that part of his game has slowed down in the last few years.
He spent last year in Triple-A for the Cincinnati Reds, hitting .241/.353/.355 in 71 games before being released on July 31st. Defensively he has played about half of his time at second base, though he has some decent experience at all four infield positions. He also has some corner outfield time and has even pitched twice.
Since he didn’t receive a non-roster invite, then he appears to be a versatile veteran depth option for the upper levels.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.