Sioux City Explorers RHP Solomon Bates Named American Association Pitcher of Year
American Association Daily provides insights, features, and recaps of the action from around the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions. In today’s edition, This Week in the Association and the Minor League Sports Report name Sioux City Explorers right-hander Solomon Bates as the American Association Pitcher of the Year.
Explorers Solomon Bates Named Pitcher of the Year
On Thursday, This Week in the Association and the Minor League Sports Report named Sioux City Explorers right-hander Solomon Bates as the American Association Pitcher of the Year. Bates finished in the top five of several key pitching categories, including earned run average, strikeouts, innings pitched, and victories.
The 2023 season got off to a great start for the right-hander, as he allowed one earned run through his first 12 innings. Bates tossed five shutout frames against the Kansas City Monarchs to open the year, then allowed one run in seven innings against the Lake Country DockHounds, in an outing where he struck out 11.
Bates then hit a rough patch, giving up six runs in six innings against the Sioux Falls Canaries on May 23, then allowing four runs in five innings to the Lincoln Saltdogs five days later.
Those outings seem to be a turning point in the season for Bates. Over his next 16 starts, he allowed two or fewer runs in nine of those outings and gave up three or fewer runs in 12 of his starts. He did give up five or more runs in three of the other four starts, but was one of the most consistent pitchers in the American Association overall.
There were several great highlights for the right-hander during the season. He struck out 15 Monarchs on June 20, the most strikeouts in the league by an individual this season. He gave up zero runs in 7.2 innings against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks five days later, striking out seven in that contest. Bates struck out at least 11 three times this season, and struck out eight or more in seven of his 20 starts.
Solomon Bates finished among the league leaders in several key categories. He was tied for third in victories (10), finishing 10-6 overall. Bates led the league in strikeouts (124) and finished fifth in ERA (3.57). He was tied for first in game started (20) and led the league in innings pitched (126.0).
The impressive numbers did not end there, however. Despite pitching the most innings, he allowed only 12 homers and opponents hit .193 against him, the best opponent batting average in the league. His 1.00 WHIP was also tops.
Solomon Bates was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the eighth round of the 2018 amateur draft. He spent four years in the Giants organization, compiling a 17-6 record with a 4.30 ERA in 90 relief appearances and three starts. Bates showed he could bring the heat, striking out 219 in 165.1 innings pitched. Last season he joined the Explorers late in the season, appearing in eight games where he posted a 5.50 ERA. Now you
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This was a very close vote that saw Bates narrowly defeat Kevin McGovern and Sean Rackoski to earn the top pitcher award. McGovern finished with the top ERA in the league (3.11). In 19 starts, the left-hander went 9-8, striking out 101 in 118.2 innings pitched. The strikeout total was fourth overall and he was fourth in innings pitched as well.
Rackoski had an outstanding season for the Explorers, going 5-5 with 20 saves for the Explorers. The right-hander was second in the league in saves and finished with a 2.17 ERA. In 54.0 innings pitched, he struck out 62.
By Robert Pannier