Luke Murton had 71 hits in 74 games with the Explorers last season.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
After compiling their worst record in ten years at 38-62, the Sioux City Explorers are overhauling their roster. Twenty-four players have been signed. Fourteen pitchers and ten position players will compete for spots on the 21-man roster.
Only two position players are back, outfielder Peter Barrows plus former Yankees minor leaguer Luke Murton, who's signing was announced on Tuesday.
Murton is a designated hitter and can also play first base. The Georgia Tech product spent five years in the Yankees farm system and started last season in Triple-A.
In 74 games with the Explorers, Murton had 71 hits with six home runs and 34 RBI's to go along with a .255 batting average. New X's manager Steve Montgomery says keeping guys like Murton is by design.
"Luke, although he struggled collectively as the season went on, he hit some balls hard and he hit some balls hard against Fargo," says Montgomery. "I like his approach at the plate. We hope they come in and provide leadership to the younger guys, show the younger guys what it's like to be a professional and prepare day in and day out."
The X's have granted outfielder Yusuke Inoguchi his unconditional release to allow him to play back in Japan. Inoguchi hit a solid .284 in two years in Sioux City.
Spring training starts May 3rd at Lewis and Clark Park.
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