SIOUX CITY, IA - In just over four weeks, the Sioux City Explorers will be reporting for spring training in preparation for the 2014 season under new X’s field manager, Steve Montgomery. Today the X’s announced the addition of starting pitcher John Straka and reliever Geoff Broussard.
Straka, the 24-year-old Chaska, Minnesota native, who played collegiately for North Dakota State University, was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 32nd Round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft. Straka was an All-Summit League second team starting pitcher as a true freshman in 2009 when he led the Bison in wins (4), ERA (3.49), strikeouts (54), innings pitched (59 1/3) and complete games (4) as the team’s No. 3 weekend starter. After missing 2010 due to an arm injury and coming back for the last half of 2011, he was an All-Summit League first team selection in 2012 with a 7-4 record, 2.61 ERA. He set four school records that year with 15 starts, 92 strikeouts, 110 1/3 innings and three shutouts. He was an All-Star in the Northwoods League in 2011 and the Alaska Baseball League in 2012. In 2013, Straka led the Bison with an 8-2 record, while compiling a miniscule 1.67 ERA in 108 innings of work while recording 90 strikeouts to just 11 walks. Straka pitched in 19 games with the Northwest League, Spokane Indians (A) and recorded 27 strikeouts while allowing only 6 walks in 31.1 innings pitched, compiling a strikeout – to – walk ratio of 4.5 to 1.
“Getting a rookie starting pitcher that can start at this level is a big plus for any pitching staff,” comments manager Steve Montgomery.
Broussard, a 23-year-old Montclair, California native, was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies out of California Polytechnic State University, Pomona. Over two seasons in the Phillies farm system (2012-2013), Geoff appeared in 55 games and recorded 97 strikeouts to just 20 walks in 106.1 innings pitched and with a 3.22 ERA.
“Broussard gives us depth in our bullpen and one of Geoff’s many bright spots is his ability to throw strikes and give his defense a chance to help him”, stated Montgomery.
The Sioux City Explorers will kick off their 22nd season on Thursday, May 15th when they travel up to Sioux Falls to take on the Canaries for two games before returning to Lewis & Clark Park for the 2014 home opener versus the Canaries on Saturday, May 17th with Magnet Schedule Giveaway and a post-game fireworks show by Lantis Fireworks! To reserve your 9 Innings of Vacation call 712-277-WINS.