X's sign second baseman and leadoff hitter - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

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X's sign second baseman and leadoff hitter

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Second baseman Brian Bistagne hit .257 last season while playing six different positions for the X's. Second baseman Brian Bistagne hit .257 last season while playing six different positions for the X's.

With the 2013 season approaching, the X's are starting to fill in their roster. The X's have signed outfielder, Eliezer Mesa. The 2013 season will mark Mesa's sixth season in professional baseball and his first in Sioux City. 

The 24-year-old product from Azua, Dominican Republic has spent the last five seasons in the Colorado Rockies and Oakland Athletics farm system. In 2012 with the A's, Mesa collectively hit .255 with 93 hits, 12 doubles, seven triples and four home runs over 102 games between the single-A and double-A squads. Once on base, Mesa was a weapon on the base paths with 25 stolen bases in 29 attempts. 

"The X's are excited about our new leadoff hitter (Mesa)," stated Stan Cliburn, X's Field Manager. "He brings speed to the top of the lineup. "

Throughout his career, Mesa has hit .279 in over 1,300 at-bats, with 387 hits, 65 doubles and 25 triples. In 370 games, he has stolen 80 bases in 104 attempts, successfully robbing the opposing team of an additional base 77-percent of the time.  The 2010 season was Mesa's standout year when he was selected as a South Atlantic League (SAL) Mid-Season All-Star, SAL All Star Game Top Star, SAL Post Season All-Star and Milb.com Organization All-Star with the Asheville Tourists. That year he produced 146 hits, including 33 doubles and nine triples, batting .302 with 29 stolen bases in 117 games. 

Defensively, the 5'11" right-hander has played all three positions of the outfield. In 594 chances, he has produced 560 outs, 14 assists and 5 double plays. 

The X's have re-signed infielder Brian Bistagne. The Glendale, California product returns for his third season with Sioux City. With the retirement of Mike Murphy, Bistagne is slated to be the everyday second baseman for the X's.  In 2012, the 25-year-old utility player saw time in 83 games at six different positions, primarily at second base and shortstop. At the plate, Bistagne produced a .257 batting average with 67 hits, 15 doubles, two triples and six home runs in 261 at-bats. 

"Bistagne is coming back to shore up the middle infield," commented Cliburn. "He has put in a lot of work this off-season and deserves that starting role coming into camp."

The Sioux City Explorers will kick off their 21st season on Saturday, May 4th when players report for Spring Training. The 2013 Home Opener will be Thursday, May 16th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries with Wells Fargo Bank Magnet Schedule Giveaway and a post-game fireworks show by Lantis Fireworks! 

Individual game tickets will go on sale Saturday, April 20th at 10:00am – to reserve your 9 Innings of Vacation stop down to the X's Box Office, located at Lewis & Clark Park or call 277-WINS. 

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