SIOUX CITY, Iowa (Courtesy of the Sioux City Explorers) –
The Sioux City Explorers have announced that the team hassigned INF Daniel Lingua, RHP John Sheaks and INF Daniel Perez for the 2024 season. The trio are the first roster additions for what will be a busy offseason for the X’s. Daniel Lingua and John Sheaks were the last pieces to the Explorers playoff roster puzzle added in August of 2023 at the American Association trade deadline, while Daniel Perez was a key piece of the club from opening day onward last season.
Daniel Lingua joined the Explorers in a late-season trade that also brought John Sheaks to the Siouxland from the Gary SouthShore Railcats in exchange for INF Miguel Sierra and LHP Franklin Dacosta. The Texas native would play 10 games for the Explorers and would provide an instant jolt to the top of the lineup.In his X’s debut, he would go 1-3 with a pair of walks while scoring a run against Fargo-Moorhead on August 26. He would go 10-for-22 in his first five games, including a pair of RBI in an 8-4 win over the Kansas City Monarchs on August 29. Lingua would hit .282 with three RBI, adding three stolen bases and six walks in 10 games to close out the season.
Lingua began 2023 with the Gary SouthShore Railcats where he slashed a .258/.341/.362 line in 88 games with five home runs and 38 RBI. He would play in 272 games over the parts of three seasons with Gary SouthShore, hitting a .271 with 14 home runs and 128 RBI for the Railcats. In his four seasons in the American Association, he has stolen 70 bases between Gary and Sioux City. Lingua was a 2022 American Association All-Star, voted as the “Last Man In” by the fans. He received the Rookie Position Player of the Year Award for the 2022 season while with the Railcats. Lingua played his college ball at Prairie View A&M University where he hit .380 in two seasons with 71 RBI in 105 games. Lingua hails from Arlington, Texas and graduated from Arlington Martin High School.
RHP John Sheaks made a memorable first start for Sioux City on August 27 a day after his arrival to Iowa. The right-hander would toss eight scoreless innings, scattering five hits in a 3-2 win over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on the final regular-season home game for Sioux City. The win was also the 500th win for Manager Steve Montgomery at the helm of the Explorers. Sheaks would retire nine in a row before a walk in the seventh—his only one allowed in the game. The San Clemente, California native then would finish off his afternoon retiring the RedHawks in order in the top of the eighth inning.
Sheaks only made two regular-season starts for the X’s and one appearance in the playoffs, but the righty had 43 starts in the three seasons he held down the top spot of the Railcats starting rotation. He went 6-7 in 2023 with Gary with a 5.22 ERA in 89.2 innings. In three seasons with the Railcats, the Long Beach State product has pitched 228.2 innings with 176 strikeouts with a 5.00 ERA. In 2022 he pitched a career high 99 innings with a 4.64 ERA for the Railcats. He has pitched primarily as a starter, making 22 starts while making another 10 appearances out of the pen. Sheaks attended Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California, where he earned All-Orange Empire Conference Second Team honors while leading the Gauchos to a Conference Tournament championship as a sophomore in 2016. Upon the conclusion of his junior college career, he parlayed that success into a transfer to Long Beach State University for his final two seasons. Over his three seasons in Long Beach, Sheaks compiled a 10-5 record along with 71 strikeouts in 124.1 innings split between the starting rotation and the bullpen.
INF Daniel Perez played in 74 games for Sioux City in 2023 where he hit .229 with nine home runs and 35 RBI. Perez had 11 multi-hit games and had bookend series in August where he was a key contributor to a pair of series wins. On August 1 and 2, he went 5-for-11 in the first two games of a three-game sweep over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Lewis and Clark Park. On August 2, Perez launched two home runs with a season-high four RBI, going 2-for-5 in the X’s win. Later in the month, Perez would have back-to-back home run games on August 22 and 23 as the X’s took two of three from the Milwaukee Milkmen. He would finish third on the team in home runs and fourth in RBI during the 2023 season. In the field Perez would play 53 games at first base and another two in the outfield.
Daniel Pérez came over to the Explorers from the Cuban National Series where he spent his first seven professional seasons. In his last season with the Cienfuegos, who he played his entire career with, he experienced his best season when he batted .352 with a .447 OBP and .898 OPS. The Explorers are set to open their 31st season in the Siouxland at home Friday night, May 10th at 7:05 p.m. against the Kansas City Monarchs.