Milwaukee, WI – It was announced today that the Sioux City Explorers will have four members of the American Association South Division All-Star team. Shortstop Nate Samson, and three pitchers from their bullpen, Tyler Fallwell, Nathan Gercken and Matt Pobereyko.
Samson is selected as the starting shortstop for the game He has now been selected as an American Association All-Star four times his five seasons with the Explorers. Samson is hitting .337 ranked sixth in the league, along with 5 home runs, 34 RBI’s and 31 runs scored. Samson is tied for third in the league with 68 hits. He has played in every inning of all 51 games for the Explorers. He has also swiped seven bags in ten attempts this season. His 18 multi hit games on the season lead the team.
Samson has already earned an award this season being named player of the week for the week ending on June 16th. During that week Samson hit .467 with 2 dingers, 2 doubles and a triple, driving in 9 runs and scoring 7.
Fallwell is being selected to the first American Association All-Star team of his career. Fallwell has been a dominant multi-inning force for the Explorers out of the bullpen this season. He has an ERA of 4.30 on the season making 15 appearances out of the bullpen and 2 starts on the season. He has struck out a shared team high 51 batters in only 37.2 innings, combining for a K/9 of 12.2. Opponents have been held to a batting average of just .215 and he has only issued 19 free passes. Of his 15 trips to the mound out of the pen, only two of them did not go more than an inning.
Fallwell like Samson was named pitcher of the week for the week ending on June 16th. To earn that award he appeared in three games throwing 7.1 scoreless innings, striking out thirteen allowing only four total base runners.
Gercken is also being named to his first American Association All-Star Team. The former member of the Twins organization has been dominant for the X’s in late inning situations. He has a microscopic ERA of 0.75 this season in 22 games. He has thrown 24 innings on the season allowing just 2 runs on 15 hits. He holds a WHIP of .916. He has walked only 7 this season while averaging over a strike out per inning with 27 on the season.
Gercken now in his fifth season in professional baseball is in his third independent league after being drafted by the Twins in the 17th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of the Academy of Art University (San Francisco, CA). He is in his first season with the Explorers after being in the Pacific Association in 2016 and the Can-Am league in 2017.
The final part of the All-Star bullpen trio is the Explorers closer Matt Pobereyko. Notching 13 saves, third best in the league, Pobereyko has been the ninth inning anchor of the X’s pen. He leads the team with 24 appearances which also is the fourth most in the American Association. He has thrown 25 innings for the Explorers and collected 37 strike outs, a K/9 of 13.3. Even better Pobereyko has allowed just 10 hits in his time on the mound and holds a WHIP of 0.88. Opponents have a batting average of just .146 this year against Pobereyko.
Pobereyko has been a success story in independent baseball being picked up twice by affiliated teams. After pitching collegiately at Kentucky Wesleyan College Pobereyko pitched for the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League and quickly had his contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks. After one season with the D-Backs bouncing between three different levels he was let go. The following season Pobereyko again headed back to Florence in 2017 and was once again purchased by the New York Mets. He would spend two seasons with the Mets appearing mostly with High-A St. Lucie but also making stops in AA Binghamton and AAA Las Vegas.
The 2019 American Association All-Star game will be held at CHS Field in St. Paul on July 23rd at 7:05 pm.