The Pittsburgh Pirates signed 25-year-old third baseman Josh Broughton to a minor league deal on Wednesday. He spent the 2021-22 seasons with Ogden of the independent Pioneer League, after originally signing with the Kansas City Royals as a 25th round draft pick in 2019.
Broughton played third base, some outfield and pitched in college ball. The Royals used him as a pitcher and he saw poor results in his brief time in 2019, then got released during the canceled 2020 season. He signed to play indy ball in 2021 and briefly pitched with bad results, before switching full-time to hitting. The Pirates announced him as a third baseman, though more of his indy time was spent in the outfield in 2021.
Broughton has some real tools, with an above average arm and speed, to go along with some big numbers in the hitter-friendly Pioneer League. He finished tenth in the league in OPS in each of the last two seasons, putting up a 1.069 mark in 92 games in 2021 and a 1.045 mark in 88 games this season. In 180 games, he has 46 doubles, 16 triples and 27 homers, to go along with 42 steals.
It’s a no risk gamble for the Pirates, who signed Jakob Goldfarb off of the Ogden roster prior to the 2022 season. He put up even bigger numbers than Broughton with Ogden in 2021, both power and speed (while getting work as a catcher), but he struggled to get playing time with Bradenton this year before being released.
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.