SIOUX CITY | Thursday, the Sioux City Explorers signed three players to 2019 American Association contracts, pitchers Luis Gamez and Brandon Presley along with outfielder Daytona Bryden.
The upcoming season will mark Gamez’s fifth professional season. Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th round of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft, Gamez spent four seasons pitching in the Braves’ farm system, spending most of his time at the rookie ball level while making an appearance in Single-A in 2016.
Gamez’s best season came in 2016, pitching for the Danville Braves, where the right-hander owned a 2.93 ERA in six starts, earning a promotion to the Rome Braves. He missed the entire 2017 season before he was released by the Braves. Last season, he pitched in the Mexican League (Triple-A) for the Tigres de Quintana Roo.
A left-handed pitcher, Presley was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 22nd round of the 2017 MLB Draft from Florida Southwestern State College. There, as a 2017 sophomore, he owned a 3.59 ERA in 21 games (10 starts) with 68 strikeouts in 62.2 innings.
Presley pitched two seasons in the Brewers farm system, both for Helena, recording 41 strikeouts in 39.2 innings out of the bullpen.
Bryden had a stellar collegiate career at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he was named the 2018 D3baseball.com national position player of the year as a senior. In his final season for the Warhawks, Bryden batted a season-single record .488 with nine home runs and 41 RBIs along with nine triples (single-season record), 17 doubles, 75 runs and 28 stolen bases.
Bryden is Wisconsin-Whitewater’s career leader with a .413 batting average and 81 stolen bases and ranks in the top 10 in three other areas. He also played in the collegiate summer baseball Northwoods League in 2015 and 2017, the year he hit .278 for the Eau Claire Express.
With the signings of Gamez, Presley and Bryden, the Explorers now have five players (three pitchers, two position players) signed to 2019 American Association contracts.