Exit Interview 2021: John Nogowski

As is tradition around these parts after the season is over, we’re taking a look at every player that got into a game for the St. Louis Cardinals this season.  That’ll range from someone that didn’t record an out to someone that played almost every inning.  Treat it like they are stopping by the manager’s office (umm, also imagine this was before the managerial change) on their way home for the winter for a performance review.  Stats listed are ones generated during their time with the Cards and the grade is based not only on their performance but on the expectations for them going into the season.  As he has the past few years, the legend that is cardinalsgifs has provided our excellent header image!

Player: John Nogowski

Season stats: 19 G, 20 PA, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K, .056/.150/.056, -39 OPS+, -0.3 bWAR, -0.3 fWAR

Statcast: .279 xwOBA, 0.0 barrel %, 88.1 exit velocity, 28.7 hard hit %, 15.4 K %, 8.4 BB %

Best Statcast category: Max Exit Velocity (54th percentile)

Worst Statcast category: Sprint Speed (18th percentile)

Hero/Goat: None

Grade: D

Positives: Had a very strong spring training, which pushed him to being on the Opening Day roster….became another “guy that got away” when was released, picked up by the Pirates, and went 19-42 (.452) in his first 10 games with Pittsburgh.

Negatives: Got his lone Cardinal hit in the second game of the season, going 0-16 until he was designated for assignment….struggled at Memphis as well, posting a .195 average and a .601 OPS….didn’t make it through the season with Pittsburgh either, being DFAd in mid-August and released from their AAA team in September.

Overview: They say you should never fall in love too early in spring and Nogowski is a true representation of that statement.  He had a four-hit game against the Marlins on March 13 and by March 24 his spring average was up to .423 as many fans on Twitter clamored for him to make the big league team as a potent bench bat.  Nogowski went 0-7 to end his spring and as the more regular time of Florida was replaced by one plate appearance a day, if that, as the calendar rolled over he just never was able to adjust.  Honestly, given how his time in Pittsburgh went, it feels like he’s a guy that can have a great spurt but won’t be able to sustain anything near that level in the long haul.

Outlook: The Giants added him to their minors after Pittsburgh let him go.  I don’t imagine that they are keeping him in the system and given that he was also released from the Dominican winter ball team he was playing for, his major league chances seem to be pretty minimal.  Someone may bring him into spring training on a minor league contract but I’d think his opportunities are going to be very slim.

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