Sioux City Explorers Mid-Season Report
Record: 34-34, Third Place in Central Division (5-games out), Seventh Overall in the American Association
The Sioux City Explorers set the American Association record for wins in a season last year, and made it all the way to the
championship series before falling to the Laredo Lemurs. Great things were expected of this team, but several players were signed by MLB organizations and the team had a bit off a hangover, losing their first six-games of the season.
The six-game losing streak was followed by a six-game winning streak, and the Explorers have battled back and forth to get themselves right at .500. Sioux City started out July 4-8, but since then have been 10-6 to get back to .500 and show some serious signs of life.
Mid-Season MVP: Nate Samson
The Sioux City Explorers shortstop has been the very best in the American Association at his position this season, and will get some serious consideration for league MVP as well. Samson entered the All-Star break hitting .340, second best in the league, and he has added 44-runs scored and 47-driven in. He is tied for fourth in the league with 20-stolen bases, and is one of the smoothest at his position that you will find. Samson can do it all, and has been a key to the Explorers offense and defense this season.
Mid-Season Top Pitcher: Connor Overton
A serious case can be made for Overton as well as for fellow relievers Rob Wort and Jake Kuebler. All three have been absolutely lights out for this bullpen, and have made it so that teams better score in the first six innings if they think they are going to win ball games.
While all three have looked good, Overton is just unhittable in 2016. The Sioux City Explorers closer has a 0.80 ERA in 27-appearances, saving 11-games and posting a 5-0 record. He has allowed just 16-hits and 11-walks in 33.2-innings pitched with 41-strikeouts. The numbers are impressive, and the fact that he has not given up an earned run in his last 14-appearances make him the perfect choice.
There are far too many people kicking dirt on the Sioux City Explorers grave. At just five out of the division lead and 4.5 out of the wild card, this is a team with a legitimate shot at getting into the playoffs. They have one of the deepest bullpens in the American Association, and if they can get some help in their starting rotation they would be in a prime position to make a run. Starting out with eight-games against Sioux Falls, Kansas City, and Joplin should give them a chance to get on a roll, and they follow those games with four against Lincoln. That series is going to tell a lot about their chances.
By Robert Pannier