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SIOUX CITY -- The Sioux City Explorers announced the signing of infielder Nate Samson, the 2016 American Association Player of the Year, to a 2018 American Association contract.

The 2018 season will mark Samson’s 13th season in professional baseball, fourth with the Explorers. Samson owns a career .332 batting average while playing for the Explorers, which ranks as the third highest in Sioux City franchise history.

Samson turned in another solid season for the Explorers in 2017, despite missing 34 games due to an injury. Samson began the season on an impressive 19-game hitting streak, which included nine multi-hit games, putting his batting average at a very impressive .373 clip at the time. The X’s shortstop finished the campaign with a .302 batting average in 66 games played, scoring 43 runs while also driving in 43.

In 2016, Samson produced the best individual season in Explorers franchise history, in which he set a new franchise record with 137 hits in a season, in route to being honored as the firstLeague Player of the Year winner in the franchise’s 25-year history. Samson ranked in the top three in the American Association in five offensive statistical categories, including leading the league with 137 hits and in on base percentage at .424. Samson finished 2nd in the league in doubles (30) and stolen bases (31), while his .350 batting average was good for third highest in the league. The .350 batting average and 30 doubles were each also 4th best in Sioux City franchise history. Samson also led the X’s in RBIs with 68 and was second on the team in home runs with six.

Samson began his professional career after being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 34th round of the 2006 MLB Draft out of Forest High School.

In other team news, the Explorers have traded outfielder Jayce Ray and infielders Tanner Vavra and Joel Davis to the Sussex County Miners (Can-Am League) in exchange for infielder Jay Baum.

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