SIOUX CITY, IA - With Spring Training just around the corner, the Sioux City Explorers have added another speedy outfielder to its 2015 roster after acquiring OF Matty Johnson from the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Independent Atlantic League. Johnson has inked a 2015 contract and the 2015 season will mark Johnson’s 6th year in professional baseball and second season in Independent baseball.
After not being drafted out of Bellevue University in nearby Bellevue, NE, Johnson began his professional career with the Gateway Grizzlies of the Independent Frontier league in 2010. For the Grizzlies, Johnson stepped right in and had a huge impact offensively for the squad. In 47 games, the 27-year-old hit .313 with 57 hits, 3 triples while stealing 24 bases. Johnson’s big start caught the eye of the Boston Red Sox whom signed Johnson where he was assigned to their New York Penn League affiliate in Lowell, MA where in 32 games he collected 35 hits while batting .321 and stealing 15 bases. Johnson was promoted to the Red Sox South Atlantic League affiliate for the final 28 games of the 2011 season and he continued to impress with adding another 26 hits and 4 stolen bases to finish the 2011 season batting a collective .307 with 19 stolen bases with a total of 61 hits in 60 games during the 2011 season.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to add another threat on the base baths to go along with Lang, Mesa, and Colwell,” commented X’s Field Manager, Steve Montgomery. “Matty is a guy that has hit at every level he has played and brings a tremendous amount of speed and great defense to our team and I am excited to see him perform.”
Matty would remain with the Red Sox for the next three seasons (2012-2014) while reaching the AA and AAA level with the Sox in 2013 before spending the entire2014 season with the Salem Red Sox in the Carolina League. For the2014 season, he appeared in 132 games and collected 141 hits, while hitting .276 with 18 doubles, 10 triples, 4 home runs while driving in 55 runs and stealing 40 bases.
Defensively, Johnson has spent his entire professional career playing all three outfield positions. Over his two rookie seasons, the switch hitter has a .987 fielding percentage in 371 games in the outfield. He compiled 751 putouts, twenty seven assists, while only having ten errors.
In other news, the Sioux City Explorers have announced today that previously signed RHP Gerardo Sanchez has opted to sign and play in Mexico and the team has also added LHP Eric Schwieger from Wayne State College to its spring training camp roster as a non-roster invitee. Additionally the X’s have re-acquired C Matt Koch from the Los Angeles Angels organization.
The 2015 Home Opener will be Thursday, May 21st versus the Sioux Falls Canaries. Individual game tickets for the home opener and all 50 games on the 2015 schedule go on sale Friday, May 1st at 9:00 AM. Season tickets are on sale now – to reserve your summer fun with the X’s, stop down to the X’s Office, located at Lewis & Clark Park or call them at 277-WINS.