SIOUX CITY, IA – The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the club has re-signed INF Nate Samson, the 2016 American Association Player of the Year, to a 2018 American Association contract. The 2018 season will mark Samson’s 13th season in professional baseball, 4th with the Explorers. Samson owns a career .332 batting average while playing for the Explorers, which ranks as the 3rd highest in Sioux City franchise history.
Samson turned in another solid season for the Explorers in 2017, despite missing 34 games due to an injury suffered on July 7th. Samson began the season on an impressive 19 game hitting streak from May 30th-June 20th, which included 9 multi-hit games, putting his batting average at a very impressive .373 clip at the time. The X’s shortstop finished the campaign with a .302 batting average in 66 games played, scoring 43 runs while also driving in 43.
In 2016, Samson produced the best individual season in Explorers franchise history, in which he set a new 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 25 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 began the season on a team-best 12-game hitting streak, owning an impressive .335 batting average. 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. 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 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, while spending parts of 2 seasons playing for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs in Des Moines, IA.
In other team news, the Explorers have traded OF Jayce Ray, INF Tanner Vavra, and INF Joel Davis to the Sussex County Miners (Can-Am League) in exchange for INF Jay Baum.
The X’s 2018 home opener is scheduled for Friday, May 25th. Get in the game with the X’s by reserving your 2018 season tickets or company group outing now by calling 712-277-WINS (9467).