Sioux City Explorers sign Lang, Hedges to 2021 roster

Sports

OF Michael Lang. Photo Courtesy of the Sioux City Explorers.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The Sioux City Explorers have announced the signings of two more players on Wednesday, RHP Zach Hedges and OF Michael Lang.

The team said Lang has officially been signed to a 2021 American Association contract and was acquired via a trade with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks on February 25.

He holds many of the Explorers’ franchise records, including most notable, games played and hits. This season will be Lang’s eighth with the team.

The Sioux City Explorers said the upcoming season will be the first season for the 6’4″ right-hander Zach Hedges with the team and his seventh in professional baseball.

Hedges, age 28 and a native of Glendora, California, was a 26th round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in the 2014 MLB Draft out of Azusa Pacific University. After one season, he went 5-4 in 13 games, 12 starts with a 2.74 ERA in 85.1 innings.

In 2016, he broke out in the Cubbies farm system. In 24 starts between High-A and Double-A, Hedges compiled a 2.75 ERA in 144 innings, striking out 95 while walking only 27. While pitching the bulk of the season in the High-A, Carolina League, he finished third in both ERA (2.89) and WHIP (1.14) and placed second in BB/9 (1.68).

For the next two seasons, Hedges bounced between Double and Triple-A. In 2017, he was used as a starter, making all 26 appearances that way while fashioning a 4.49 ERA in 146.1 innings to go along with 76 strikeouts.

In the 2018 season, the Chicago Cubs attempted to turn Hedges into a reliever and made only four starts while appearing out of the bullpen 32 more times.

He held down a 3.40 ERA, picking up a pair of saves and striking out 58 in the 87.1 innings he worked as he was constantly bounced between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa.

Hedges was transitioning back into being a starter, putting together a 3.18 ERA in Double-A over four starts before an injury sidelined him. The Chicago Cubs organization released him in May 2020.

He was 35-34 in 128 games in six seasons with the Cubbies and had 81 total starts. In 554 innings, he had a 3.64 ERA, 348 strikeouts, and showcased elite control at the minor league level, walking only 125 batters for a BB/9 of 2.0.

The Sioux City Explorers said with the signings of Lang and Hedges; they have now signed 26 players, 16 pitchers, and 10 position players to a 2021 contract.

  • LHP Brett Adcock
  • RHP Tyler Beardsley
  • RHP Nick Belzer
  • RHP Brandon Brosher
  • RHP Nate Gercken
  • RHP Kent Hasler
  • RHP Dylan Hecht
  • RHP Zach Hedges
  • RHP Danny Hrbek
  • RHP Max Kuhns
  • LHP Jairo Labourt
  • LHP Patrick Ledet
  • RHP Matt Quintana
  • RHP Joe Riley
  • RHP Carlos Sierra
  • LHP Jose Velez Jr
  • C Justin Felix
  • C Mitch Ghelfi
  • INF DJ Burt
  • INF Nate Samson
  • INF Jose Sermo
  • INF Jared Walker
  • OF Chase Harris
  • OF Michael Lang
  • OF Eury Perez
  • OF Sebastian Zawada

The Sioux City Explorers will start their 29th season in Siouxland at MercyOne Field at Lewis and Clark Park on May 18 versus the Houston Apollos.

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