Sioux City, IA (February 11, 2020)– The Sioux City Explorers today have announced the signing of RHP Nate Gercken. The 2020 season will be Gercken’s 6th season in professional baseball and second with the Sioux City Explorers.
The Explorers continue to build a strong bullpen both from new parts and from parts that worked last season which saw the team reach the postseason for the fourth time in six years and get a spot in the American Association Finals. Now one of the most reliable pieces from that team is returning for the 2020 season in Nate Gercken.
Gercken put together an incredible 2019 campaign for the X’s. A season which was coming off of a Tommy John procedure done the previous September. His 42 appearances were second on the team behind only league leader Matt Pobereyko. He had a minuscule ERA of 1.91 and a 4-2 record. In 47 innings of work he struck out 44 batters. He was also named to the mid-season South Division All-Star Team.
In a span of 13 appearances and 13.2 innings, from June 26th to July 24th, Gercken did not allow a single earned run. He had also already previously had two separate streaks of six scoreless outings earlier in the season.
The 27 year old California native was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 17th round of the 2015 MLB Draft following a stellar career at the Academy of Art University (San Francisco, CA), where he set single season records during his senior year for ERA (2.90), strikeouts (79), opponent batting average (.206), shutouts (2), and innings pitched (96.1).
He pitched for the Twins during the summer of 2015, appearing in 11 games, two starts, for the Elizabethton Twins, their rookie level affiliate. He put together a 6.69 ERA in 35 innings, striking out 35 batters.
The Twins released the tall 6’6” right hander and he found his way to independent baseball in the Pacific Association. He would put together almost identical numbers between the San Rafael Pacifics and the Pittsburg Diamonds as he did the season prior. He again made 11 appearances, with two of those being starts with a 6.75 ERA.
Gercken the following 2017 season found a new home and new found success pitching for the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League. Gercken led the team with 43 appearances in 2017, which included a stretch of 16 consecutive appearances without yielding a run. He finished the season with a 2-2 record and a 2.70 ERA striking out 47 batters in 46.2 innings. In 2018, Gercken was just as impressive, posting a 2.08 ERA and a 2-2 record in 30 appearances.
With the addition of Nate Gercken the Sioux City Explorers have nine players signed to contracts for the 2020 season.
RHP Nate Gercken
RHP Ben Yokley
RHP AJ Nitzschke
LHP Jairo Labourt
RHP Matt Pobereyko
LHP Winston Lavendier
LHP Raudel Lazo
OF Sebastian Zawada
OF Ricky Ramirez Jr.
The Sioux City Explorers 28th season in Siouxland will begin on May 19th at the Kansas City T-Bones. The X’s open up their home schedule on May 26th against the Sioux Falls Canaries. Season tickets, flex tickets, group tickets and luxury suites are now for sale for all 50 Explorers home games for the 2020 season. Simply call (712) 277-WINS (9467) to order your ticket package today.