The Pittsburgh Pirates have added Cale Johnson as a minor league pitching coach. Johnson was previously with the Atlanta Braves, where he spent the 2022 season as a Minor League Pitching Strategist. There’s no word yet on his position with the Pirates.
Johnson began his career in pro ball in 2009 as a 41st round pick for the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-handed pitcher spent three years in the Cardinals system, followed by a season of independent ball.
He began coaching in pro ball in 2015, working first with the GCL Cardinals as their pitching coach. He moved up to the Appalachian League for 2016-17 seasons, then served with Low-A Peoria during the 2018-19 seasons.
Johnson became a minor league pitching analyst for the Cardinals during the 2020 season. He was hired by the Atlanta Braves in 2021 and worked as their assistant pitching coordinator, before moving up to the Pitching Strategist position this past season.
Coming from two systems known for developing pitching prospects, Johnson appears to be a solid add to the Pirates pitching development system.
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.