SIOUX CITY, IA – The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the club has re-signed 2016 American Association Player of the Year Nate Samson to a 2017 American Association contract. The 2017 season will mark Samson’s 12th season in professional baseball, 3rd with the Explorers. Samson owns a career .346 batting average while playing with the Explorers, which ranks as the 3rd highest in Sioux City franchise history.
Samson turned in a phenomenal season in 2016, in which he set a new Sioux City Explorers franchise record with 137 hits in a season, in route to being honored as the first ever League Player of the Year winner in the franchise’s 24 year history. Samson ranked in the top 3 in the American Association in 5 offensive statistical categories, including leading the league with 137 hits and in on base percentage at .424. Samson finished 2nd in the league in doubles (30) and stolen bases (31), while his .350 batting average was good for 3rd highest in the league. The .350 batting average and 30 doubles were each also 4th best in Sioux City franchise history. Samson also led the X’s in RBI’s with 68 and was 2nd on the team in homeruns with 6. For his efforts, Samson was selected to the 2016 American Association All-Star game in St. Paul where he started for the North All-Stars and went 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Samson originally signed with the Explorers in April of 2014 and in 43 games with the X’s, Samson had an immediate impact in the lineup as he led the team in hits (55), doubles (12), runs scored (26), and RBIs (23). He began the season on a team-best 12-game hitting streak and his impressive .335 batting average was also highest on the team. For his performance, Samson had his contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 29th and was assigned to the class Double-A Mobile BayBears where he would spend the rest of the season playing in 46 games, collecting 32 hits, including 4 homeruns and 6 doubles, with a .274 batting average. Samson spent the 2015 season in the Dodgers organization after he was selected in the Rule 5 Minor League Draft from the DBacks and finished the season playing for the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers.
Samson began his professional career after being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 34th round of the 2006 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Forest High School. The Ocala, FL native would spend 8 years in the Cubs system, playing the majority of games at the Double-A level for the Tennessee Smokies while spending parts of 2 seasons playing for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs in Des Moines, IA. Samson’s best season came in 2008 playing for the Cubs affiliate in Peoria where he produced the 5th most hits in the entire Midwest League with 141 in 128 games and was also rated the best defensive second baseman in the Midwest League by Baseball America.
The 2017 season marks the Explorer’s 25th season of professional baseball in Siouxland. Reserve your seats now and get in the game with the X’s by calling 712-277-WINS (9467).