SIOUX CITY, IA – The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the club has re-signed RHP Eric Wordekemper and signed C Ralph Henriquez to 2016 American Association contracts. The Explorers also announced that they have traded C Matt Koch to the Laredo Lemurs (American Association) in exchange for LHP Cody Forsythe.
Wordekemper, a native of nearby Storm lake, Iowa, was drafted in the 46th round of the 2005 MLB Amateur Draft by the New York Yankees out of Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Wordekemper spent seven seasons in the Yankee’s farm system (2005-2011) while pitching at the AA or AAA level in six of the seven seasons, while also playing parts of 3 seasons abroad (2009, 2010 and 2012). Eric also pitched briefly in the Independent Atlantic league in 2013, before injuring his elbow. Over his nine-year professional career, Eric amassed a combined 22-13 record, tossing 418.1 innings with a career 2.73 ERA, while recording 331 strikeouts and allowing just 140 walks. In his first season with the Explorers in 2015, the right-hander made 13 starts, posting an 8-2 record, accumulating 55 strikeouts over 75.2 innings pitched. Wordekemper turned in his best start of the season during the first round of the playoffs, tossing 5 scoreless innings and striking out 7, while picking up the win in the series clincher in Game 4 vs. the St. Paul Saints.
Henriquez was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 2nd round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft from Key West HS (Key West, FL). Henriquez has played 10 seasons in affiliated baseball, playing at every level in the Minor League’s system. Last season Henriquez would play for his 5th MLB organization after signing with the L.A. Dodgers, where he spent the entire season with the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers, hitting for a .254 batting average. For his professional career as a catcher, Henriquez owns a .989 fielding percentage and has thrown out 24% of base stealers.
Forsythe was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 25th round of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft following a stellar collegiate career at Southern Illinois University. Forsythe holds the Salukis career records for starts (49) and innings pitched (346.2) while also becoming the first pitcher in school history to throw 100 or more innings in three different seasons. His 246 career strikeouts are fifth most in SIU school history. The left-hander spent three years in the Phillies organization, pitching most of his games at the Advanced-A level. Forsythe was named a 2014 South Atlantic League All-Star after appearing in 23 games and owning a 2.45 ERA while accumulating 25 strikeouts and 9 saves. For his professional career, the Calvert City, Kentucky native has appeared in 98 games in relief with an 11-7 record and 14 saves to go along with a 2.85 ERA. In 145.1 career innings pitched, Forsythe has allowed only 121 hits while racking up 147 strikeouts to just 41 walks.
The Explorers 2016 home opener is now just 17 days away. Individual game tickets for the home opener and all 50 games on the 2016 schedule are on sale now. Get in the game with the X’s and purchase your tickets by stopping down at the Box Office at Mercy Field @ Lewis & Clark Park or by calling 712-277-WINS (9467).