SIOUX CITY, IA – The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the club has signed former MLB OF Tony Campana to a 2017 American Association contract. The 2017 season will mark Campana’s 9th season in professional baseball. Campana played parts of 4 seasons in the big leagues with the Cubs, D’Backs, and Angels.
Campana was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 13th round of the 2008 MLB Draft from the University of Cincinnati. Campana made his major league debut with the Cubs on May 17, 2011 against the Cincinnati Reds, collecting his first major league hit in his first major league at bat with an RBI double. Later that season on August 5th, Campana hit his first major league home run with a two-run inside the park homerun in the first inning off of Mike Leake, becoming the first Cubs player to accomplish the feat at Wrigley Field. For the 2011 season, the speedy outfielder led the Cubs with 24 stolen bases in 95 games, while only being caught stealing twice. His 92.3 percent success rate was tops in the major leagues and also set a Cubs franchise record for a rookie.
Campana had another good season with the Cubs in 2012, batting .264 and stealing 30 bases in 89 games. The 30 stolen bases led the Cubs for a second consecutive season and were also good for T-9th most in the entire National League. Campana was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013, appearing in 29 games and tying a D’Backs club record drawing five walks in a game on August 24. Campana would play in 26 games with the D’Backs in 2014 before being traded to the LA Angels of Anaheim where he would see action in 18 games finishing with a .333 batting average.
Campana stole a career high 66 bases in 2009, and by his third professional season he rose quickly through the Cubs farm system spending the 2010 season with their Double-A affiliate where he batted a career-best .319 with 22 doubles, 5 triples, and 39 RBIs while stealing 48 bases. For his efforts, he was selected as a Southern League mid-season and post-season All-Star. Campana started the 2011 season with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs batting .342 in 30 games prior to his call-up to the big leagues. In 2013 he tied for second in the Pacific Coast League in stolen bases with 32 playing for the Triple-A Reno Aces. Campana missed the entire 2015 season due to a torn ACL injury and spent the 2016 season splitting time between the Triple-A affiliates with the Washington Nationals and Chicago White Sox.
Prior to beginning his professional career, Campana played collegiately at the University of Cincinnati where he still ranks 1st in career stolen bases (104) and 7th in career triples (9) in just two seasons played there. Campana broke the schools single season record for stolen bases in each of his two seasons with 60 in 2007 and 44 in 2008.
In other team news, the Explorers have traded RHPs Bubba Maxwell and Shawn Blackwell to the Normal CornBelters (Frontier League) in exchange for C Dylan Kelly. The X’s have also released LHP Derek Callahan.
The 2017 home opener is only 48 days away as the Explorers take on the Sioux Falls Canaries on Thursday, May 18th. Get your tickets by calling 712-277-WINS (9467).