Sioux City, IA– The Sioux City Explorers today have announced the signing of LHP Winston Lavendier. Lavendier will be playing in his sixth season of professional baseball and his first with the Explorers and in independent baseball.
The Explorers have already begun to fill a much needed gap from their 2019 team. During that season the Explorers only had one southpaw that they would turn to regularly in Jose Velez. And Velez missed a few weeks during the middle of the season with a hamstring injury. In seasons prior however the Explorers had multiple southpaw arms they could turn to when needed. Early in the off-season signing period however, Steve Montgomery has already picked up two lefties with Raudel Lazo and now Winston Lavendier.
Lavendier was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Angels out of CSU Dominguez Hills, in Carson, California. In his two seasons with the Toros he made 30 total appearances, with 14 of them being starts. All 14 starts came in his senior season in 2015 where he had an 8-6 record and a 3.84 ERA, striking out 74 in 98.1 innings of work. Prior to his collegiate success, he was named a second team all league selection for the Eastside High Lions in Lancaster, CA.
After being drafted by the Angels, Lavendier would pitch the remainder of the 2015 season at the rookie level of the Angels organization with the Arizona League Angels and the Orem Owlz. In his first taste of professional baseball, Lavendier posted a 2.20 ERA in 20 appearances and over 32.2 innings, striking out 30 batters while walking just five.
The 2016 season for Lavendier was split between the A and High-A levels of the Angels organization. Between Burlington and Inland Empire he made 45 appearances out of the bullpen with a 2-4 record and a couple of saves. Lavendier held down a 3.54 ERA over 68.2 innings with 71 strikeouts and only 29 walks. Good for a K/9 of 9.3 and a BB/9 of 3.8.
The left handed reliever would play the entire 2017 season with the Inland Empire 66ers the Halo’s High A level team. It would however prove to be Lavendier’s final season with the Angels organization. In 39 relief appearances he had a 6.16 ERA in 57 innings. He however still saw impressive strikeout numbers, punching out 60 batters for a K/9 of 9.5. In Lavendier’s time in affiliated baseball he had an impressive composite K/9 of 9.2.
Lavendier has spent the last two seasons in the Mexican League among three different clubs. Making 57 appearances, one single start, the only start he’s ever made in professional baseball after his senior season in college and an ERA of 6.00.
With the addition of the 27 year old southpaw the Explorers have now signed three players to American Association contracts for the 2020 season.
LHP Winston Lavendier
LHP Raudel Lazo
OF Sebastian Zawada