July is always a month full of trades in the MLB and the Pittsburgh Pirates made a minor one on Saturday with their NL Central foes the Saint Louis Cardinals.
Fo the second straight week, the Pittsburgh Pirates swung another minor trade with one of their divisional rivals. Last week was the catcher Samuel Escudero from the Brewers, but this time the Pirates got John Nogowski from the Cardinals.
In this trade, the Pirates only had to give up cash considerations to pick up some much-needed depth at first base, as Erik Gonzalez and Colin Moran, who can not catch a break this season, are both currently injured.
Nogowski was originally taken in the 2014 draft as the 27th pick in the 34th round by the Oakland Athletics, before being shipped to Saint Louis in 2017. Nogowski has very little MLB experience as he has only accumulated 24 plate appearances at the major league level in his career.
Of those 24 at-bats, 20 have come this season, and it is evident that he is still struggling to shake the rust off from not having a minor league season last year as he is batting .056 with a WRC+ of -30. While this looks really bad even for a player who is most likely only going to be used to help with filling in for the injuries at first, his 2019 Triple-A numbers better represent how good he can be.
In his last full season, 2019, Nogowski batted .295 with a WRC+ of 122, and he had an on-base percentage of .413. Also, he was drawing walks at a better clip than he was getting punched out as his walk percentage was 14.9% and his strikeout percentage was only 11.7%.
When his 2019 season is taken into effect, it shows that while this may not be the blockbuster trade that all of Pittsburgh is waiting for, John Nogowski is definitely worth taking a shot on to fill in at first base for the time being since all the Pirates had to give up was a little bit of money.