Sioux City, IA (May 5, 2021) — The Sioux City Explorers have announced the following moves; INF DJ Burt has had his contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Explorers and Schaumburg Boomers of the Frontier League have completed a trade of INF Chris Clare in exchange for a player to be named later. And Sioux City has signed RHP Xavier Altamirano.
DJ Burt was a fourth round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals back in 2014 out of Fuquay-Varina High School in North Carolina. He has spent all six seasons in professional baseball with the Royals, reaching as high as Double-A.
Burt in his career has showcased elite speed and base stealing ability. In 533 affiliate minor league games, the 25 year old has 160 stolen bases. Other than his rookie year in 2014, in which he played in only 49 games, Burt has stolen at least 18 bases in a season. He has finished in the top ten each year in stolen bases since 2015. In three straight campaigns from 2016-18, Burt stole at least 32 bases, including a career high 43 in 2016 with Single-A, Lexington.
In 2018, Burt was named a Carolina League All-Star when playing for the High-A, Wilmington Blue Rocks. In 111 games he hit at a .280 clip, scoring 72 runs, with 14 doubles and seven triples and swiping 32 bags.
The North Carolina native’s final season with Kansas City was in 2019 with Double-A, Northwest Arkansas. Reaching his highest level in the farm system, he appeared in 80 hames hitting .226. He scored 24 times, driving in 13 with seven doubles and 26 stolen bases.
Over his career with the Royals, Burt hit .253, scoring 295 runs with 63 doubles and 27 triples.
Burt spent two winters playing in the ABL with the Melbourne Aces. In 55 total games with Melbourne between 2018 and 2019, Burt hit for a .338 batting average with 21 stolen bases, 38 runs scored, and 22 RBI. He played alongside current Explorers, Nate Samson and Patrick Ledet in 2019 helping guide the Aces to the Claxton Shield and an ABL title.
Burt becomes the 24th Sioux City Explorer to have his contract purchased by a major league organization since the end of the 2015 season.
Chris Clare will be entering his 5th season of professional baseball in 2021.
A 2016, 21st round draft pick by the Baltimore Orioles out of High Point University, Clare has proven to be a versatile infielder in his career logging extensive innings at third, short and second base.
Over four years in the Orioles system reaching as high as Triple A, Norfolk. Clare has played in 349 games, hitting at a .231 clip with 51 doubles, driving in 107 runs, and scoring 146 of his own.
He has shown to have a keen eye at the plate, with his walk to strikeout ratio improving each year. In 2017 with the Class A, Delmarva Shorebirds, he finished in the top ten of the South Atlantic League with a 1.55 Strikeout-Walk Ratio. He followed that performance up in 2018 with High-A, Frederick, finishing in the top five of the Carolina League with a 1.27 strikeout to walk ratio.
Clare has played the bulk of his career at shortstop, logging 265 games with a .959 fielding percentage. He has appeared at second base in 51 games, however with the majority of those appearances coming in 2019 the last time he played with the O’s.
Clare did not play during the 2020 season and this year will be his first in independent baseball.
Xavier Altamirano will be entering into his sixth season of professional baseball, and first with Sioux City.
A 27th round draft pick of the Oakland Athletics in 2015 out of Oral Roberts University. In a year after he earned Summit League Pitcher of the Year honors thanks to his 8-2 record and 2.94 ERA. He led the Summit League in both conference wins (6) and strikeouts (61).
In the four seasons following his rookie year with the A’s, Altamirano bounced between the three different levels of Class-A. Earlier in his Athletics career he was shuffled between the starting rotation and the bullpen. Rather than in the later years when he was used primarily in the starting rotation.
Twice the righty was selected as a mid-season All-Star. First coming in 2016 when he was pitching for the Low-A, Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York Plains League. In 14 games and nine starts, Altamirano held a 2.48 ERA in 65.1 innings punching out 57 batters while walking just ten.
The second time for the now 26 year old came in 2018 with the Class-A, Beloit of the Midwest League. In a year that saw him make 12 starts with the Snappers, registering a 3.09 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 16 walks in 70 innings of work.
In five total seasons with Oakland, he racked up a 29-35 record and a 4.34 ERA in 119 games with 81 of those coming in the starting role. The righty totaled 516 innings and 422 strikeouts to just 132 walks.
Altamirano did not play during 2020.
With the loss of INF DJ Burt and the additions of RHP Xavier Altamirano and INF Chris Clare the Explorers have now 27 players on the roster (17 pitchers, 10 position players).
LHP Brett Adcock
RHP Xavier Altamirano
RHP Tyler Beardsley
RHP Nick Belzer
RHP Brandon Brosher
RHP Nate Gercken
RHP Kent Hasler
RHP Dylan Hecht
RHP Zach Hedges
RHP Danny Hrbek
RHP Max Kuhns
LHP Jairo Labourt
LHP Patrick Ledet
RHP Matt Quintana
RHP Joe Riley
RHP Carlos Sierra
LHP Jose Velez Jr
C Justin Felix
C Mitch Ghelfi
INF Chris Clare
INF Nate Samson
INF Jose Sermo
INF Jared Walker
OF Chase Harris
OF Michael Lang
OF Eury Perez
OF Sebastian Zawada
The Sioux City Explorers 29th year in Siouxland will begin at MercyOne Field at Lewis and Clark Park on May 18th versus the Houston Apollos. Season, Group and Single Game Tickets are now all on sale and can be purchased by calling (712) 277-9467.