Sioux City, IA (March 16th, 2022) — The Sioux City Explorers have announced the signing of INF Nate Samson to a 2022 American Association Contract.
2022 will be Samson’s 17th season of professional baseball and his seventh with the Explorers.
Samson’s 2021 campaign was cut short by an ankle injury suffered against the Houston Apollos on July 1st. Despite extensive rehab the injury cost him the rest of the season. He played in 31 games for the X’s and hit .259 with four home runs, 19 RBI and 19 runs scored.
Samson has firmly entrenched himself into the upper echelon of Explorers greats. His name is found near the top of many offensive categories in the X’s record books. Samson has the most RBI in Explorers franchise history with 293. His 571 career hits now sit second behind Michael Lang’s 680 and he also sits second with 99 doubles. He has played in the third most games in franchise history at 439 and stolen 99 bases, also tied for third all time.
The four-time American Association All-Star has given Explorers fans elite production in both the middle of the infield and lineup. During his X’s career he has hit for a .327 average, has struck out only 112 times compared to his 157 walks. He has twice set the X’s single season record for hits. Initially breaking the record in 2016 with 137 and then beating his own mark in 2018 with 141 while also capturing the batting title that year with a .340 average. In 2016 Samson also became the first ever Sioux City Explorer to win the league MVP award. He has led the league in hits three times.
The 34 year old shortstop was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 34th round of the 2006 MLB Draft. He spent seven seasons in the Cubs minor league system reaching as high as Triple A, Iowa.
After being released by the Cubs, Samson found himself in the American Association with the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Spending part of the 2013 season with the fish he played in 42 games and hit .216 with 15 RBI, 11 runs.
His first year in Sioux City came in 2014 and he became an instant household name. In 43 games he hit a blistering .335 with 12 doubles, 23 RBI, 26 runs scored and nine swiped bags.
It was enough to earn him another chance in affiliated baseball, this time with the Arizona Diamondbacks where he spent the remainder of that 2014 season in Double-A, Mobile. Hitting .274 over 46 games.
His 2016 MVP season was one of the best hitting campaigns put together by a Sioux City Explorer. Playing in all 100 games, he hit a sizzling .350, a career high six home runs, 31 doubles and 31 stolen bases. He also drove in and scored 68 runs each.
Throughout his entire 16 year career across all levels, Samson has played in 1,326 games, collected 1,280 hits for a .286 career batting average. He has swatted 46 home runs, 208 doubles, driven in 560 RBI, scored 653 career runs and stole 152 bases.
With the addition of INF Nate Samson the Explorers have now signed seven players (5 pitchers, 2 position players) to a 2022 contract.
RHP Matteo Bocchi
RHP Zach Hedges
RHP Carlos Sierra
RHP Michael Slaten
RHP Jonah Smith
INF Nate Samson
OF Sebastian Zawada