Kelly and Jackson Return to X's
SIOUX CITY, IA - The Sioux City Explorers announced today that C Dylan Kelly will play out his option and return for the 2018 season. The Explorers have also re-signed C/1B Daniel Jackson to a 2018 American Association contract. The 2018 season will mark Kelly's 5th season in professional baseball and Jackson's 2nd season in professional baseball.
Kelly played in 50 games for the Explorers last season, producing a .294 batting average and owning the second highest on base percentage on the team at a .375 clip. Kelly was hitting .304 with an impressive .397 on base percentage before suffering an injury on July 6th which forced him to miss over a month of action.
Kelly spent the majority of his first three professional seasons playing for the Normal CornBelters of the Frontier League. Kelly got off to a hot start in 2015 for the CornBelters, batting .350 before having his contract purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was assigned to the DBacks rookie league affiliate and after just 6 games he made the jump to the Triple-A Reno Aces. Kelly returned to the CornBelters in 2016 and played in 91 games, hitting .311 with a .361 on base percentage.
Kelly started his collegiate career at Middle Georgia junior college and led the Georgia Athletic Association in batting average, ranking among the top 15 nationally with his .429 clip. The Roswell, GA native transferred to the University of Missouri and in his final collegiate season in 2014 he boasted a team high .330 batting average, good for fourth best among SEC catchers. Kelly led the tigers with 59 hits, 13 doubles, 27 RBIs, a .453 slugging percentage, and a .405 on base percentage.
Jackson made his professional debut last season with the Explorers after being signed on July 11th and appeared in 29 games, hitting .214 with a .328 on base percentage. Jackson enjoyed a successful collegiate career at Long Beach State where he played in three NCAA Regionals with the Dirtbags. The Pleasanton, CA native was named a Second Team All-Big West selection in 2016 where he reached base safely in 37 of 42 games and led the team with a .321 batting average and in homeruns with 6. Last season, Jackson was tabbed with All-Big West Honorable Mention honors after appearing in all 63 games and hitting .277 with 4 home runs and 33 RBIs.
With the signings of Kelly and Jackson, the X's now have 18 players (12 pitchers, 6 position players) signed to 2018 contracts. In other team news, the Explorers have released LHP Hobbs Johnson, LHP Kramer Sneed, and C Tyler Ogle.
The Explorers begin their 2018 campaign on the road visiting the Lincoln Saltdogs on May 17th. The X's 2018 home opener is scheduled for Friday, May 25th at Mercy Field at Lewis & Clark Park versus the Cleburne Railroaders in a 7:05pm contest. Get in the game with the X's by reserving your 2018 season tickets or company group outing now by calling 712-277-WINS (9467).
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Sioux City Explorers Catcher Dylan Kelly
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