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Milwaukee Signs Explorers Pitcher


St. Paul, MN – The Sioux City Explorers announced today that the Milwaukee Brewers have purchased the contract of RHP Anthony Bender. Bender becomes the first Explorer from the 2019 roster to have his contract purchased by a major league organization. 

Bender’s time in Sioux City was short lived but effective. He appeared in two games for the Sioux City Explorers tossing three and two-thirds innings, allowing three hits, one walk, three strikeouts and most importantly no runs.

Bender was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 20th round of the 2016 draft. He was taken out of Santa Rosa Junior College where he was a two way player dominating on the mound and batting in the middle of the lineup. Bender had been committed to playing his collegiate ball at California State University Northridge before being drafted by the Royals.  Bender also played his high school ball at Casa Grande High in Petaluma, California. Both educational institutes Bender shared with former big leaguer Jonny Gomes. 

Bender spent three seasons in the Royals farm system. After 32.2 innings and a 3.03 ERA in rookie ball he got the call up to Class A Lexington in 2017. He impressed yet again with the Legends with a 3.93 ERA in 73.1 innings. He compiled 70 strike outs (K/9 of 9.1) and showed great control with just 20 walks (BB/9 2.5). Those numbers were good enough to earn him a promotion and an end of the year start with the High-A Wilimington Blue Rocks. He began the 2018 season in High-A with Wilmington and put together a good season with a 6-3 record and a 3.57 ERA in 93.1 innings, his lowest ERA since rookie ball. 

In his three seasons with the Royals, the 6’4”, 24 year old, he started 23 games during those three seasons and came out of the bullpen 40 times. He compiled a record of 13-9 to go along with 7 saves along with a career 3.63 ERA in 203.1 minor league innings. 

With Bender’s signing by the Brewers organization, the Sioux City Explorers have now had 21 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 – Pittsburgh 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, Kurt Heyer – Miami Marlins, James Needy – Miami Marlins, John Nogowski – St. Louis Cardinals, Kevin McCanna – Arizona Diamondbacks, Tyler Falwell – Philadelphia Phillies, Parker Markel – Seattle Mariners, Ian McKinney – Seattle Mariners, Eric Karch – Minnesota Twins, James Dykstra – Cincinnati Reds, Justin Vernia – Arizona Diamondbacks, Anthony Bender - Milwaukee Brewers