SIOUX CITY EXPLORERS PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2023
By: Dan Vaughan Jr.
BATES NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK
SIOUX CITY, IA – The American Association has named Sioux City Explorers RHP Solomon Bates the Pointstreak Pitcher of the Week for the week ending May 21. Bates threw seven innings, holding the Lake Country Dockhounds to just one run on five hits with 11 strikeouts on May 18 in a 2-1 Sioux City win. The right-hander got stronger as the game went on, retiring the Dockhounds in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings and sending down 11 consecutive batters at one point. The X’s would eventually walk off winners in extra innings over Lake Country.
Bates is off to a great start for the Explorers. The University of Southern California product was the opening night starter for Sioux City, picking up the win over the Kansas City Monarchs 10-1. Bates struck out six with five looking that night against Kansas City.
Bates was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the eighth round in the 2018 June draft after two seasons at USC. He would go 7-4 in his career in college with a 3.57 ERA in 113.1 innings with 110 strikeouts. In his first year with the Trojans, Bates appeared in 20 games, making two starts and going 1-1 in 36 innings. He would follow that campaign up with a 6-3 record after transitioning from the bullpen to being a starter midway through the season. Bates led the starting rotation with a 3.14 ERA, allowing 28 runs in 77.1 innings, making nine starts in 18 appearances. He would be named All Pac-12 honorable mention after his second season in Los Angeles. Bates finished sixth in the conference in WHIP (1.07) and seventh in hits-per-nine innings (7.22).
In 2019, Bates would make his professional debut in the Giants organization. Between three stops at rookie level Arizona, low A Augusta and high A San Jose, he would go a combined 5-3 in 43.1 innings with 60 strikeouts, all in relief. He would not pitch in 2020 due to the worldwide pandemic, but he came back in 2021 to spend the entire year at high A Eugene. In 32 games, he would go 2-2 with a 4.76 in 51 innings, punching out 62 strikeouts.
In 2022, Bates would reach AA Richmond with a short two-inning stint at rookie-level Arizona. In Richmond he made 23 appearances out of the bullpen, pitching 40.1 innings with 47 strikeouts. The Giants would release Bates on August 9 and Sioux City would sign him on August 13. Bates pitched 18 innings for the Explorers in 2022, making one start and seven relief appearances. He would go 1-2 with a 5.50 ERA in 18 innings, adding 31 strikeouts.
Bates hails from Victorville, California where he played his high school ball at Oak Hills High School. In high school, Bates hit .431 his senior season and was a four year First Team All-League selection, and he was named team MVP his final season. Bates also was strong with the bat as he set the home run record for Oak Hills. This past winter he pitched in both Colombia and Venezuela.
Bates is the second Explorer to be named Pitcher of the Week this season, joining fellow righty Mitchell Verburg as the X’s have claimed back-to-back honors during the first two weeks of the season.
The Explorers continue their road swing tonight beginning a three-game series against the Sioux Falls Canaries at Sioux Falls Stadium at 6:35 p.m. The Explorers return home Friday May 26 to face the Lincoln Saltdogs in a three-game series at 7:05 p.m. at Mercy Field at Lewis and Clark Park. Tickets for the season can be purchased online as XSBaseball.com, in person at the Lewis and Clark Park Box Office or by calling 712-277-WINS. You can catch all the X’s action on aabaseball.tv and on radio at KSCJ 94.9 FM and 1360 AM.