The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the club has signed OF Tillman Pugh, RHP J.D. Busfield, and OF Sebastian Zawada to 2019 American Association contracts.
The 2019 season will mark Pugh’s 10th season in professional baseball, Busfield’s 4th, and Zawada’s 2nd season.
Pugh has spent parts of three seasons in affiliated baseball in the Mets and Chicago White Sox organizations.
He has since played the last six years in Independent ball in four different leagues, and was named the Pacific Association MVP in 2017 playing for the Vallejo Admirals where he hit .332 with 18 home runs and 30 stolen bases.
He followed that up with an impressive 2018 campaign, playing in the American Association for the Gary SouthShore RailCats, where the outfielder led the team with a .357 batting average, .436 on base percentage, and .554 slugging percentage.
Busfield has pitched the previous 3 seasons in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, owning a combined 3.69 ERA in 65 games.
He was a 2017 Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star where he pitched a scoreless inning, recording two strikeouts.
Busfield pitched collegiately at Loyola Marymount University where he was an honorable mention All-West Coast Conference selection in 2016 and 2015.
The righty also holds the Lions record for most saves in a season with 14, which he set in 2015.
Zawada began his collegiate career at South Mountain Community College (Phoenix, AZ), where he led the team in 2015 with a .394 batting average, 18 home runs, and 65 RBIs en route 1st Team All-Conference and 1st Team All-Region honors.
Zawada then finished his collegiate career at Arizona State where his 8 home runs in 2016 were tied for most on the team.
The Explorers now have 15 players (10 pitchers, 5 position players) signed to 2019 American Association contracts.