03/25/2016 10:08 AM
SIOUX CITY, IA – The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the club has signed INF Nate Samson, whom was a member of the X’s in 2014, and RHP Jacob Newberry to 2016 American Association contracts. The 2016 season will mark Samson’s 11th season of professional baseball and 2nd with the Explorers, while the upcoming season will be Newberry’s 4th season in professional baseball.
Samson, 28, originally signed with the Explorers in April of 2014 after Sioux City gained his reversionary rights from the Winnipeg Goldeyes via trade. In 43 games with the X’s, Samson had an immediate impact in the lineup as he led the team in hits (55), doubles (12), runs scored (26), and RBIs (23). He began the season on a team-best 12-game hitting streak and his impressive .335 batting average was also highest on the team. For his performance, Samson had his contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 29th and was assigned to the class Double-A Mobile BayBears where he would spend the rest of the season playing in 46 games, collecting 32 hits, including 4 homeruns and 6 doubles, with a .274 batting average. Samson spent last season in the Dodgers organization after he was selected in the Rule 5 Minor League Draft from the DBacks and finished the season playing for the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers.
Samson began his professional career after being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 34th round of the 2006 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Forest High School. The Ocala, FL native would spend 8 years in the Cubs system, playing the majority of games at the Double-A level for the Tennessee Smokies while spending parts of 2 seasons playing for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs in Des Moines, IA. Samson’s best season came in 2008 playing for the Cubs affiliate in Peoria where he produced the 5th most hits in the entire Midwest League with 141 in 128 games and was also rated the best defensive second baseman in the Midwest League by Baseball America.
Newberry was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 18th round of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft out of High Point University. The right hander was a second team All-Big South selection as a senior at High Point and led the team in innings pitched (88) and strikeouts (78). Newberry would spend three seasons in the Rockies organization, with the majority of his games being played for the Advanced-A Modesto Nuts in the California League. Last season for the Nuts, Newberry appeared in 28 games out of the bullpen, tossing 33.2 innings while only allowing 34 hits and owning an impressive strikeout to walk ratio of 43 strikeouts to just 8 walks to go along with his 3.21 ERA.
With the signings of Samson and Newberry, the Explorers now have 8 position players and 4 pitchers signed to 2016 contracts.
The 2016 home opener is slated for Thursday, May 19th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries. 2016 season ticket and flex ticket packages are on sale now – to get in the game with the Sioux City Explorers, call 712-277-WINS (9467).