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Needy, Shackleford, and Davis Join Explorers 


SIOUX CITY, IA – The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the club has signed pitchers James Needy, Stephen Shackleford, and Ryan Davis to 2017 American Association contracts. 

Needy was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 6th round of the 2009 MLB Draft from Santana HS (Santee, CA). Needy got off to a solid start in his first professional season at the rookie level posting a 2.65 ERA but injured his knee in spring training the following year causing him to miss the entire 2010 season. The 6’6 right hander bounced back quickly starting the 2012 season at the Triple-A level with the Tucson Padres. Needy had his best professional season in 2014 where he pitched the entire season for the Double-A San Antonio Missions going 10-5 with a 2.91 ERA, while racking up 113 strikeouts to just 50 walks. For his efforts, Needy was named a San Diego Padres Organizational All-Star as well as a Texas League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star. The San Diego, CA native split the 2015 season between Double-A and Triple-A before missing the entire 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery.    

Shackleford was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 35th round of the 2010 MLB draft out of Savannah College of Arts and Design (Savannah, GA). Shackleford spent two seasons in the Giants organization accumulating 82 strikeouts in 80 innings before spending his next three seasons in the Seattle Mariners organization, reaching as high as Double-A posting a 2.93 ERA. The Louisville, KY native had his best season in professional baseball in 2015 pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies Double-A affiliate Reading Fightin Phils. Shackleford served as their closer and broke the Reading team record converting 30 saves, which was also by far the most in the entire Eastern League that season. For his efforts, the righty was named an Eastern League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star. Shackleford spent last season in independent ball splitting time between the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League and the Lincoln Saltdogs. 

The 2017 season will be the 3rd year in professional baseball for Davis, all at the independent level. The lefty began his professional career in the Pecos League playing for the Roswell Invaders, impressing with a perfect 5-0 record and a 2.20 ERA in 49 innings pitched. Davis began last season pitching in the Pacific Association before joining the Lincoln Saltdogs where the Queensbury, NY native posted a 2.28 ERA in 19.2 innings pitched. 

In other team news, the Explorers have traded INF Joe Deroche-Duffin to the Evansville Otters (Frontier League) in exchange for a player to be named later. 

The Explorers 2017 Home Opener will be Thursday, May 18th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries. Individual game tickets for the home opener and all 50 games on the 2017 schedule go on sale, Tuesday, April 18th at 9:00 AM. Get in the game with the X’s and purchase your tickets by stopping down at the Box Office at Lewis & Clark Park or by calling 712-277-WINS (9467).