FORMER BIG LEAGUER SIGNS WITH XS
FORMER BIG LEAGUER SIGNS WITH X’S
THIRD BASEMAN WAS 3rd OVERALL DRAFT PICK BY CHICAGO CUBS
SIOUX CITY, IA – The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the club has signed former Chicago Cubs INF Josh Vitters to a 2017 American Association contract. The 2017 season will mark Vitters’ 10th season in professional baseball.
Vitters, 27, was drafted in the 1st round (3rd overall) by the Chicago Cubs in the 2007 MLB Draft from Cypress High School in Cypress, CA after being named the 2007 Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year. Vitters made his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs on August 5, 2012 and collected his first major league hit and RBI’s a couple days later against the San Diego Padres. His first major league homerun came on August 20th off of Mark Rogers of the Milwaukee Brewers. He finished the 2012 season with the big league Cubs, appearing in 36 games.
Throughout the early years of his minor league career, Vitters was heralded as one of the most promising prospects in all of baseball. The third baseman was ranked as the Chicago Cubs #1 prospect following both the 2007 and 2008 seasons, #3 after the 2009 season, #5 after the 2010 season, and #9 prospect following the 2011 season. Vitters was also rated as the best power hitter in the Cubs system after the 2007 and 2008 seasons and was also rated as the best hitter for average in the Cubs system following the 2008 season. Baseball America ranked Vitters as the #43 overall prospect in baseball after the 2007 season, #51 prospect after the 2008 season, and #70 prospect in baseball after the 2009 season.
Vitters made his professional debut on August 21, 2007 and split the remainder of the season with the rookie-league Cubs and Single-A Boise. Vitters spent the majority of the 2008 season with Single-A Boise, hitting .328 with a Northwest League leading 25 doubles, 5 homeruns, and 37 RBIs in 61 games on his way to being selected as a NWL All-Star starter at third base. He recorded a 25-game hitting streak from July 12-August 19, which was the longest in Single-A baseball that year.
Vitters continued rising through the Cubs system after clubbing 18 homeruns in 2009 and was promoted to Double-A in 2010. Vitters began the 2012 season with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs and was named to the Pacific League All-Star team after hitting .304 with 17 homeruns, 32 doubles, 2 triples, and 68 RBIs prior to his promotion to the big league Chicago Cubs. Vitters lost most of the 2013 season due to injuries and signed as a free agent with the Colorado Rockies in 2015. Throughout his 8 minor league seasons with the Cubs, Vitters hit .272 with 80 homeruns and 347 RBIs.
In other team news, the Explorers have traded INF Tommy Mendonca to the Lincoln Saltdogs for future considerations.
The Explorers begin their 25th season in Siouxland on Thursday, May 18th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries in a 7:05 contest. Reserve your 2017 season tickets or company group outing now by calling 712-277-WINS (9467).