Sioux City, IA (May 11, 2021) — The Sioux City Explorers have announced the following signings of INF LT Tolbert and RHP Matt Pobereyko.
L.T. Tolbert will be entering his 3rd season of professional baseball in 2021.
A two-time draftee, Tolbert was drafted first by the Mets in the 34th round of 2015 MLB draft out of IMG Academy. He chose not to sign and instead went on to the University of South Carolina. The left-handed hitting infielder was drafted again in 2018 by the Diamondbacks in the 13th round.
In three years at South Carolina, Tolbert improved in batting average and RBI total each season. As a freshman, Tolbert earned Freshman All-SEC honors. The utility infielder finished his third year hitting .322 with 8 home runs and 56 RBIs. Those marks helped earn him a spot on the 2018 SEC All-Tournament team and the 2018 Greenville Regional All-tournament team. Tolbert would end his college career ranked the number 35 best prospect in the SEC.
The 6’2”, 200 lb. infielder found success in the Diamondbacks farm system as well, reaching as high as Double A, Jackson. In 2 seasons with Arizona, Tolbert hit a strong .299 with 72 RBI’s over 142 games.
Bouncing around the infield, Tolbert showed off his versatility playing at third, short, second, and first base. He settled in at second base playing a majority of his games there. His strong defensive reputation is backed by his .976 fielding percentage as a professional player.
Tolbert did not play during the 2020 season and this year will be his first in independent baseball.
Matt Pobereyko enters his sixth season of professional baseball and his second with the Explorers.
During the 2019 season Pobereyko proved to be the anchor for what was yet again another great Explorers bullpen. The 28 year old paced the American Association with 47 appearances and collected the third most saves with a career high, 24, that also tied a Sioux City single season record.
Pobereyko held down a 3.18 ERA over 51 innings allowing just 31 hits, and 14 walks, good for a WHIP of 0.882. Pobereyko set another career high with 74 strikeouts, cementing a K/9 of 13.1. He was selected to the American Association South Division All-Star team.
Pobereyko on two separate occasions tossed multiple innings of relief for Sioux City. Both instances came in games that went into extra innings and both ended in Explorers victories. The first came on July 4th against the Milwaukee Milkmen where he went three innings allowing just a single hit, striking out three and picking up his lone win of the season. The other instance came on August 22nd against the Cleburne Railroaders, with the X’s in the thick of the playoff chase Pobereyko threw four innings of shut out, two hit baseball while fanning six batters.
Between July 19th and July 26th of 2019, the now 29 year old appeared in five out six games for the X’s and was the definition of the word dominant. Notching a save in all five games he faced the minimum, retiring 15 straight batters over five perfect innings striking out five during that span. It was also in the middle of an 11 game, 10.1 inning stretch in which he did not yield a run, and gave up only one hit and one walk in that time.
During the pandemic shortened, 2020 season Pobereyko pitched for the St. Paul Saints. He was selected with the 30th overall pick during the American Association Dispersal Draft. Appearing in 13 games for the Saints, the Munster, Indiana native fashioned a 3.00 ERA over 21 innings of work, fanning 22 in the process.
For the third consecutive winter Pobereyko pitched in the Dominican Winter League for Estrellas de Oriente. In 15 games, he held a minuscule 1.80 ERA, striking out 17 batters in 15 innings.
An accomplished swimmer at Bishop Noel Institute during his high school days, Pobereyko went to Kentucky Wesleyan University where he holds school records of both 108 strikeouts in a season, and 18 in a single game.
Pobereyko entered professional baseball, undrafted and getting his first shot in independent baseball with the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League. After compiling a 1.33 ERA in just 20 games the Arizona Diamondbacks took notice and purchased his contract. After spending a year bouncing between their low and high Class-A levels he was let go.
Once again Pobereyko found himself in Indy ball, pitching for Florence. Lasting just 17 games this time with a 1.00 ERA, he was purchased by the New York Mets. He spent two seasons with the Metropolitans reaching as high as Triple-A for a single game.
The Sioux City Explorers have also announced that RHP Carlos Sierra and LHP Jairo Labourt have been placed on the Reserve List.
With the additions of INF LT Tolbert and RHP Matt Pobereyko, the Explorers now have 27 players on the roster (16 pitchers, 11 position players).
RHP Samson Abernathy
LHP Brett Adcock
RHP Xavier Altamirano
RHP Tyler Beardsley
RHP Nick Belzer
RHP Brandon Brosher
RHP Nate Gercken
RHP Dylan Hecht
RHP Zach Hedges
RHP Danny Hrbek
RHP Max Kuhns
LHP Patrick Ledet
RHP Matt Pobereyko
RHP Matt Quintana
RHP Joe Riley
LHP Jose Velez Jr
C Justin Felix
C Mitch Ghelfi
INF Chris Clare
INF Nate Samson
INF Jose Sermo
INF LT Tolbert
INF Jared Walker
OF Chase Harris
OF Michael Lang
OF Joseph Monge
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.