02/28/2018 10:49 AM
EXPLORERS ADD PAIR OF EXPERIENCED PLAYERS TO 2018 ROSTER
FORMER MLB OUTFIELDER AND TRIPLE-A RHP JOIN X’S
SIOUX CITY, IA – The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the club has signed OF Luis Durango and RHP Luis Mateo to 2018 American Association contracts. The upcoming season will mark Durango’s 12th season in professional baseball and Mateo’s 8th season in professional baseball.
Durango, 31, began his professional career at the age of 19 after being signed as an international free agent by the San Diego Padres and has spent parts of three seasons playing in the MLB from 2009-2011 for the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros. Durango’s career got off to an impressive start as he led the Arizona League with a .378 batting average and a .470 on base percentage in 2006. Durango followed that up by being named the Most Valuable Player and Topps Player of the Year in the Northwest League in 2007 playing for the Short-A Eugene Emeralds after leading the lead in batting (.367) and hits (110).
The native of Panama continued rising in the Padres system, beginning the 2009 season playing for the Double-A San Antonio Missions before making his Major League debut on September 15th. Durango made his first career big league start a day later, recording three hits and also his first stolen base in the major leagues. Durango would appear in 9 MLB games in 2009 for the Padres, batting .545 (6-11), including a single against Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, which would end up being Johnson’s last hit he would give up in his career. Durango spent the majority of his 2010 season at the Triple-A level while making four different stints with the big league Padres, appearing in 28 MLB games that season. Durango was claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros in 2011, appearing in two big league games. Durango was signed by the Atlanta Braves in 2012 and spent the entire season in Triple-A, stealing a career high 46 bases, which led the entire International League. The speedy outfielder has also spent time in the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox organizations, while also spending two seasons in the Mexican League.
Mateo was signed as a 21 year old international free agent by the New York Mets in 2011. Mateo began his career as a starting pitcher, going a combined 10-6 in 25 starts with an impressive 2.25 ERA while racking up 165 strikeouts to just 14 walks in 136 innings pitched in his first two seasons. For his efforts, Mateo was named a New York-Penn League Mid-Season All-Star in 2012. The Dominican Republic native has spent the previous 4 seasons transitioning to mostly a reliever role as he continued to rise through the Mets system and in 2016 he spent the majority of the season at the Double-A level where the righty would own a 2.87 ERA in 48 games out of the bullpen. Last season, Mateo split time between the Mets Double-A and Triple-A teams, appearing in 18 games for each club, racking up a combined 52 strikeouts in 54 innings pitched. For his career, Mateo owns a 17-12 record and a 3.07 ERA.
The Explorers 2018 home opener is set for Friday, May 25th versus the Cleburne Railroaders. Get in the game with the Sioux City Explorers and reserve your 2018 season ticket packages, flex ticket packages or company group outing by calling 712-277-WINS (9467).