Bullpen Anchor Nate Gercken Re-Signs


Sioux City, IA (April 15th, 2022) The Sioux City Explorers have announced the signing of RHP Nate Gercken to a 2022 American Association contract. 

The 2022 season will be Nate Gercken’s seventh season in professional baseball and third in Sioux City.

Last season Gercken pitched in 40 games, the second most on the squad. He struck out 54 batters over 36 innings, walked 28 and held an ERA of 3.75. Of his 40 relief appearances he held the opponent scoreless in 34 of them. 

In a stretch from May 29th to July 6th, Gercken appeared in 17 games and covered 17-2 innings without yielding a run. He recorded at least a strikeout in 16 of those appearances, tallying 25 in total. And allowed only 13 base runners on four hits and nine walks. 

The right-hander earned his first save as an Explorer on July 13th in a 7-6 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries. It was the first save he tallied since 2017, he finished the season with two. 

Gercken put together an incredible 2019 campaign for the X’s. A season where he was coming off of a Tommy John procedure done the previous September. His 42 appearances were second on the team behind only league leader Matt Pobereyko. He had a minuscule ERA of 1.91 and a 4-2 record. In 47 innings of work he struck out 44 batters. He was also named to the mid-season South Division All-Star Team. 

The 29 year old California native was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 17th round of the 2015 MLB Draft following a stellar career at the Academy of Art University (San Francisco, CA), where he set single season records during his senior year for ERA (2.90), strikeouts (79), opponent batting average (.206), shutouts (2), and innings pitched (96-1).

Gercken’s first taste of pro ball came for the Twins during the summer of 2015, appearing in 11 games, two starts, for the Elizabethton Twins, their rookie level affiliate. He put together a 6-69 ERA in 35 innings, striking out 35 batters. 

The Twins released the 6’7” right hander and he found his way to independent baseball in the Pacific Association. The following season in 2017 found a new home and new found success pitching for the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League. Gercken led the team with 43 appearances in 2017, which included a stretch of 16 consecutive appearances without yielding a run. He finished the season with a 2-2 record and a 2.70 ERA striking out 47 batters in 46-2 innings. In 2018, Gercken was just as impressive, posting a 2.08 ERA and a 2-2 record in 30 appearances.

During his career in independent baseball, Gercken has pitched a total of 171 games, 187 innings, has 201 strikeouts, seven saves and a 3.13 ERA. 

The Sioux City Explorers 30th year in Siouxland will begin at MercyOne Field at Lewis and Clark Park on May 17 versus the Lake Country DockHounds. Season, Group and Single Game Tickets are now all on sale and can be purchased by calling (712) 277-9467-