INF BECOMES 10TH XS PLAYER TO JOIN MLB TEAM SINCE END OF 2015 SEASON
NELSON WARD JOINS SEATTLE MARINERS ORGANIZATION
INF BECOMES 10TH X’S PLAYER TO JOIN MLB TEAM SINCE END OF 2015 SEASON
SIOUX CITY, IA – The Sioux City Explorers announced today that INF Nelson Ward will join the Seattle Mariners organization. Ward recently signed with the Explorers on April 4th before being signed by the Mariners.
Ward was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 12th round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of the University of Georgia. Ward would spend two years in the Mariners organization and in 2015, Ward hit .278 with 19 2Bs, 13 3Bs, 9 HRs, 55 RBIs, 81 runs scored, and 13 SBs in 122 games between the Mariners Single-A Clinton and Single-A Bakersfield affiliates.
Ward was traded the following off-season to the San Diego Padres for big league pitcher Joaquin Benoit. The Marietta, GA native would spend the entire 2016 season playing for the Padres Double-A affiliate San Antonio Missions where he appeared in 123 games collecting 100 hits to go along with a .313 on base percentage and 31 stolen bases.
Ward played collegiately at the University of Georgia and in 149 career games for the Bulldogs, Ward owned a career .301 batting average with 21 2Bs, 7 3Bs, 4 HRs and 66 RBIs. In his sophomore season, Ward established a Georgia single season school record for highest fielding percentage by a second basemen at .987 committing only 3 errors in 239 total chances. In his final season at Georgia, Ward led the Bulldogs in RBIs (34), BB (33), multiple hit games (18) while finishing second on the team in batting average (.306), hits (64), and SBs (10).
With Ward’s signing by the Mariners organization, the Sioux City Explorers have now had 10 player’s contracts acquired by an affiliated organization since the completion of the 2015 season; Ryan Kalish – Chicago Cubs, Rob Wort – Boston Red Sox, Patrick Johnson – Pittsburg Pirates, Ryan Court – Boston Red Sox, Noah Perio – Los Angeles Dodgers, Tayler Scott – Milwaukee Brewers, Connor Overton – San Francisco Giants, Lindsey Caughel – Seattle Mariners, Reinier Roibal – Los Angeles Dodgers, Nelson Ward – Seattle Mariners.
In other team news, the Explorers have signed LHP Estarlin Cordero to a 2017 American Association contract. Cordero was signed by the Royals as an international free agent on November 20, 2012. The San Cristobal, Dominican Republic product spent 4 years in the Royals organization, reaching the Double-A level in 2016 before being released out of spring training this March. For his professional career, Cordero owns an 8-7 record with 19 saves and a 3.55 ERA.
The Explorers open their silver anniversary season on Thursday, May 18th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries. Individual game tickets for the home opener and all games on the 2017 schedule are on sale now. Purchase your tickets by stopping down at the Box Office at Mercy Field at Lewis & Clark Park or by calling 712-277-WINS (9467).