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Three Explorers Named to AA All Star Team

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The American Association has announced that OF Scott Ota, RHP Kyle Marman and RHP Joey Murray have been selected to the West Division All-Star team for the 2024 American Association All-Star game July 23 at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. Ota was named the starter in the outfield, while Marman and Murray will be part of the West pitching staff.

Scott Ota is hitting .300 on the season and leads the Explorers with eight home runs and 40 RBI on the year. He is part of a club that leads the league in stolen bases as a team, and he has added 15 to the league-leading total of 108. In 50 games Ota has a slash line of .300/.400/.535 while scoring 36 runs and is second on the club with 56 hits.  

Ota is in his second season with the X’s after originally joining the Explorers on July 20, 2023, as a free agent after his release from the New York Mets organization. The California native hit .265 over his first 10 games then became one of the American Association’s best hitters the rest of the season. Over the final 28 games of the season, Ota hit .325 (37-for-114) with five home runs and 20 RBI. In 2023, Ota would play in 38 games while slashing a line of .311/.371/.520. His .520 slugging percentage placed him second on the club for the season. He would have 15 multi-hit games out of his 38 games with the X’s, including his last three regular season games from August 31 to September 2 where he went 6-for-12. Ota had a four-game stretch of multi-hit games on August 19 to 23, going 9-for-20 for Sioux City. He would add a 12-game hitting streak from July 30 to August 17 with 16 hits in 43 at bats, hitting .372 in that span.

A native of Foster City, California, Ota was drafted in the 10th round in the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft out of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In four collegiate seasons, Ota played in 206 games, hitting .301 (.301/.374/.530) with 33 home runs and 163 RBI. Ota graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.

RHP Kyle Marman  joined the Explorers after spending the 2023 season in the Cleveland Guardians organization. Marman has been the late-inning anchor for the X’s and leads the team with six saves, including four straight multi-inning saves in a row during the end of June and into the first part of July. He is 2-1 in 18 games with a 3.27 ERA in 22 innings with 33 strikeouts. 

Prior to coming to Sioux City, the 27-year-old posted a 4.91 ERA over 3.2 innings for AAA Columbus in 2023 but made 42 appearances for AA Akron in 2022, earning a 4.41 ERA over 51 innings. In college, he pitched three seasons for Florida Atlantic before being drafted in the 13th round by Cleveland in 2018. Marman was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but was raised in Orlando, Florida where he played at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando. 

RHP Joey Murray is having a solid year for the Explorers. The former Toronto Blue Jays farmhand is 3-2 with a  4.71 ERA in 49.2 innings. He has made 10 starts and struck out 36 for Sioux City so far in 2024. Murray has pitched at least five innings in seven of his starting assignments and has added another three quality starts. He struck out a season-high nine Milwaukee batters on May 28 while giving up one earned run in a hard-luck loss at home in Sioux City. From May 28 to June 30, he gave up two runs or fewer in six consecutive starts for the Explorers.

The Ohio native came to the Explorers after signing to open spring training with the X’s on May 1. Murray was a two-time MAC Pitcher of the Year in 2017 and 2018 at Kent State and was a Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist in 2018. His stellar collegiate career led to the Toronto Blue Jays calling his name in 8th round of the 2018 MLB draft. Murray would spend five years in the Blue Jays system, reaching AA. He comes to Sioux City after injuries slowed his rise through the Toronto ladder in 2021 and 2022. Murray was a three-year varsity member of Coffman High School in his hometown of Dublin, Ohio. He went 8-1 with just one earned run in 69 innings and 97 strikeouts his senior year and was named All-State, First Team All-Conference and Conference Player of the Year as a senior.

About the All-Star Game: The 3-day break in the season will serve – yet again – as the halfway point for the 117-day campaign for the league. It will feature the AAPB Home Run Derby and KC Celebrity Softball Game, on Monday July 22 followed by the American Association All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 23.  Get more information about the 2024 All-Star Game: 2024 American Association All-Star Game Information

The Explorers continue a six-game road trip with game two of a four-game series against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks Tuesday, July 9, at Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo, North Dakota. The first pitch is set for 7:02 p.m. The games can be heard on radio at KSCJ 94.9 FM and 1360 AM, and the video stream will air for free on aabaseball.tv.