Birds add a pair of impact arms

Posted: 12/31/2019

Freese-Zokan_002.pngSIOUX FALLS, SD – The Sioux Falls Canaries have picked up a pair of big arms to add to their 2020 pitching staff. The Birds signed right-hander Dakota Freese, and have acquired left-hander Jake Zokan from the Rockland Boulder of the Frontier League (formally Can-Am) in exchange for Connor Leedholm and a Player to be Named Later.

Freese, 27, was a 12th round draft pick out of Des Moines Area Community College by the Oakland Athletics in the 2013 draft.

Freese spent the end of the 2019 season with the Ottawa Champions of the Can-Am League. In 12 2/3 innings, he allowed only 4 hits, and punched out 13 batters.

“We are excited to see what Dakota can bring to the table,” says Canaries Manager Mike Meyer. “He has a mid-90’s fastball, and a 12-6 curveball with high spin efficiency that will play very well in the American Association.”

Zokan had a stellar 2019, finishing the season with a 2.65 ERA, appeared in 22 games (8 starts), and allowed only 3 home runs over 54 innings pitched.

“We targeted Jake last offseason before he signed with Rockland,” Meyer said. “He’s an experienced left-handed starting pitcher who will make an immediate impact at the front of our rotation.”

The 28-year-old left hander was a 9th round draft pick by the Seattle Mariners in the 2013 draft, reaching as high as Double-A in 2015.

Over his career, the South Carolina native holds a career ERA of 3.67 over 230 innings, punching out 212 batters, while allowing only 61 free passes.

“Jake had a great season last year in the Can-Am league, and we look for him to provide leadership on our pitching staff.”

The Sioux Falls Canaries open their 28th season with a home series against the Gary-Southshore Railcats on Tuesday, May 19th. For more information on season tickets, suites, group outings, and corporate opportunities, call the Canaries Front Office at (605) 336-6060, or visit the Canaries official website at