Sioux City, IA (November 10, 2020) — The Sioux City Explorers have re-signed LHP Jairo Labourt and have made a trade for LHP Patrick Ledet.
Jairo Labourt will be playing in his ninth season of professional baseball and his first with the Sioux City Explorers. Labourt is a native of the Dominican Republic, he was signed at just 17 years old as an international free agent by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011.
Standing at 6’5, 234 pounds, Labourt is a big and intimidating left handed arm. He was mainly a starter in the five seasons that he spent with the Toronto Blue Jays. Labourt spent three seasons in rookie ball before making the jump to Low-A and A ball Lansing in 2014. That season Labourt saw the most action in Low-A Vancouver where he made 15 starts, putting together a 5-3 record and an ERA of 1.77. He struck out 82 batters in 71.1 innings of work, good for a K/9 of 10.35.
In 2015 Labourt made the jump to High-A Dunedin, while there at just 21 years old he established himself as a prospect in the Blue Jays organization. He made 18 starts with a 2-7 record and a 4.59 ERA. He struck out 70 batters in 80.1 innings of work. Armed with a sinking fastball, a whiff inducing slider and changeup Labourt was named to the 2015 World All-Star team. In the game against the team USA All-Stars he tossed a perfect bottom of the fifth inning, striking out a pair and getting game MVP, Kyle Schwarber, to ground out.
2015 however proved to be the final season with the Blue Jays for Labourt. He was shipped off at the trade deadline with fellow Blue Jays prospects Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Cy Young award winning pitcher David Price. Labourt finished out the 2015 season with High-A Lakeland in the Tigers system making seven starts for the Flying Tigers.
After the 2016 season with Lakeland that saw Labourt split time between the starting rotation and the bullpen, 2017 was a banner year for the hard throwing lefty. During the 2017 season Labourt went on a true meteoric rise through the Tigers minor league system. It only took him eight games to be promoted to Double-A Erie. He only needed 21 games in Double-A to get the promotion to Triple-A Toledo. All in all, during the 2017 season between three different levels of the Detroit Tigers minor league system, Labourt made 45 trips to the mound posting a 2.17 ERA, four saves and struck out 79 batters in 66.1 innings of work.
All of the success rewarded Labourt with the ultimate promotion to the big league club. He made his big league debut on September 1, 2017 against the Cleveland Indians, tossing a scoreless inning in a 10-0 Indians victory. Labourt’s stay in the big leagues however was brief, appearing in six games for six innings, totaling an ERA of 4.50, striking out four but walking seven.
Labourt would then be designated for assignment by the Tigers in February of that off-season and was claimed by multiple teams before ultimately landing with the Chicago White Sox. The 2018 season was spent in the Dominican Summer League, going 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA in five appearances and one start.
Labourt took both the 2019 and 2020 seasons off, making 2021 the first time he has played professionally since June of 2018.
Patrick Ledet was traded to Sioux City from the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League in exchange for a player to be named later.
Ledet is a southpaw from Nacodoches, Texas who will be entering his fifth season of professional baseball and first with the Explorers.
Despite what was a turbulent summer in professional baseball, Ledet did play in 2020. He started seven games for the Sugar Land Lightning Sloths of the Constellation Energy League. A four team independent league based out of Sugarland, Texas.
He held a 4.70 ERA and compiled a 1-2 record with 23 innings of work. In that time he struck out 21 (8.2 K/9) and walked nine (3.5 BB/9).
The lone 2019 season spent in Lake Erie produced career best numbers for the lefty. He made 19 starts and went 6-4 with a career low 2.34 ERA. Tossed 119.1 innings, tallying 109 strikeouts (8.2 K/9) making it the first time he reached the century mark in punch outs in a season. The stellar season earned the six foot, 187 pound lefty a spot on the Frontier League All-Star Team.
Last winter Ledet was a part of a championship team in Australia. Teaming up with Explorer names such as Nate Samson and Liam O’Sullivan, Ledet helped guide the Melbourne Aces to a championship with a 3-2 record and a 5.70 ERA over ten starts.
The first two seasons of Ledet’s career were both spent with the Windy City Thunderbolts of the Frontier League where combined he went 8-10 over 33 trips to the mound with 17 of those being starts. In 120 innings of work he held a 4.42 ERA, striking out 107 batters over that time.
Collegiately Ledet stayed in state playing at Stephen F Austin in the Southland Conference. Pitching for the Lumberjacks all four seasons he went 16-12 with a 4.05 ERA in 70 games and 31 starts. He racked up 173 strikeouts in that time to just 78 walks. He made the transition from bullpen arm to starter between his Sophomore and Junior seasons.
With the trade the Explorers now hold the rights to Ledet but will still need to sign him to a contract for the upcoming 2021 season.
With the signing of Labourt the Explorers have three players signed to a 2021 contract.
LHP Jairo Labourt
OF Chase Harris
OF Sebastian Zawada