LYNN, Mass. — The North Shore Navigators have named former Merrimack College ace, Futures Collegiate Baseball League veteran and current Fitchburg State assistant coach PJ Browne as their pitching coach for the upcoming 2020 season.
President and General Manager Derek January made the announcement on Thursday. Browne will join first-year field manager Bob Macaluso in the North Shore dugout this summer.
“PJ is a future star in the college baseball coaching community,” January said. “His competitiveness as a player was infectious. I’m excited for our team to be able to feed off his energy and inherit his will to win. Coach Mac and the entire organization look forward to having PJ in the dugout this summer. I believe our pitchers will take a big leap forward with him leading our staff.”
A 2018 graduate of Merrimack, Browne joined the Fitchburg State staff in December after spending the fall season as a volunteer assistant pitching coach at his alma mater. His day-to-day responsibilities with the pitching staffs of both programs have included arm care, bullpens, practice planning and pitch calling. He also assisted with Fitchburg’s recruiting and opponent scouting efforts and Merrimack’s prospect camps and clinics.
In addition to his work at the college level, Browne has served as a youth travel coach and provided one-on-one pitching instruction for Evolution Baseball and Energy Baseball since September 2018. He has managed games at the 11U through 15U age groups.
“I am really grateful to the Januarys and Coach Mac for the opportunity to be with the Navigators this summer,” Browne said. “I look forward to coaching under the lights at Fraser Field in this very talented league and, most importantly, working with a fantastic group of pitchers. I’m excited for the season and the chance to win some baseball games.”
Browne graduated as one of the top pitchers in Merrimack history, setting new program records in wins (18), strikeouts (266) and innings pitched (256.1) by the end of his four-year career. He earned two All-Northeast-10 Conference honors including an All-NE10 Second Team nod as a senior. The Warriors won their first NE10 title since 1996 during Browne’s senior year as he posted a staff-leading 2.21 ERA and 85 strikeouts — the second-highest total in single-season school history — over 85.2 frames.
The Rutland, Mass., native is also no stranger to the Futures League and the New England summer ball scene. He pitched for the FCBL’s former Wachusett Dirt Dawgs for three years (2014-16) and spent his final summer with the NECBL’s Winnipesaukee Muskrats.
Browne played two seasons of professional baseball, initially signing with the American Association’s Winnipeg Goldeyes following graduation. He went 1-0 with a 3.74 ERA during a 16-game pro debut with the Manitoba-based franchise. His 2019 season included time with the Evansville (Ind.) Otters and Trois-Rivieres (Quebec) Aigles of the Frontier League.
Browne’s brother, Parker, pitched in 16 games for the Navigators last summer and is currently a junior at Suffolk University. Both PJ and Parker played their high school ball at Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury, Mass.
The Navs are now preparing for the 13th season of collegiate ball at Fraser Field and their ninth in the Futures League. The 2020 opener is scheduled for Wednesday, May 27. Until then, stay up to date on the latest Navs news by visiting nsnavs.com and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.