The Evansville Otters have signed first baseman Josh Williams and right-handed pitcher Henry Omaña and extended infielder David Cronin.
Williams, a Toronto, Ontario, Canada native, joins the Otters after spending some time in 2018 with the White Sands Pupfish in the Pecos League. With White Sands, Williams batted .333 with six home runs, 30 RBIs, 33 runs, and 13 doubles.
“Williams comes highly recommended from a trusted scout,” said Otters manager Andy McCauley. “He is a power left-handed bat that will be battling for a job at first base and in the designated hitter role.”
“I’m thankful and looking forward to the opportunity to play for this first-class organization,” said Williams.
Williams finished his collegiate career at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, where he hit .244 with 19 RBIs in limited at-bats in 2017.
“I’ve always loved to compete, and I take pride in that,” said Williams. “I’ll be giving it my best and will be pushing to bring another league championship to Evansville.”
Omaña is from Walnut, Calif. and joins the Otters after a couple years playing Mexico. Omaña spent 2018 with Pericos de Puebla and their respective Spring and Autumn teams. Overall, Omaña was 0-1 in 10 appearances and 14.2 innings pitched between the two seasons. In 2017, played for Acereros de Monclova. Omaña had a 4.82 ERA and 10 strikeouts in five appearances.
“Omaña played with Hunter Cullen at Cal State Fullerton and was brought to our attention by Hunter,” said McCauley.
“I am very excited to be getting an opportunity to play with the Otters and to be able to work with Coach (Max) Peterson on sharpening up my game,” said Omaña.
Omaña began his collegiate career at Cal State Fullerton but finished at Cal Poly Pomona. In 2017 with Cal Poly Pomona, Omaña posted a 2.48 ERA in 94.1 innings pitched with 92 strikeouts and a 6-5 record.
“We spoke with the Mexican League team he pitched for and they spoke very highly of him,” said McCauley. “He should figure highly in the mix in our bullpen.”
“I approach each batter as if each and every pitch is important, but I focus on pitching to the catcher’s glove rather than against the individual batter,” said Omaña. “My belief is that if I execute my pitches, the batter will get himself out.”
The Otters also re-signed infielder David Cronin to a contract extension for the 2019 season.
“It was an easy decision to come back to Evansville due to the fact that I really enjoy the coaching staff and the guys that I got a chance to play with as well as having a phenomenal host family,” said Cronin.
In 2018, Cronin batted .296 with eight doubles, three home runs, 49 walks and 37 RBIs in 76 games played. Cronin also had eight stolen bases and scored 57 runs.
“David is a true leadoff guy and has a great approach for that slot,” said McCauley. “He is a fearless hitter that can work deep counts and still hit with some authority.”
Cronin came to the Otters after a stint in the Chicago White Sox organization, spending time in rookie ball with Great Falls.
“Getting to play everyday and getting consistent at-bats last year for all three months I was in Evansville is what worked well for me,” said Cronin. “Unlike my time with the White Sox, there were days where I didn’t know if I was going to play.”
Cronin, an Orland Park, Ill. native, was named a 2018 Frontier League All-Star.
“David will be a big part of the team’s success this year, setting the table for hitters like Long and Castro,” said McCauley.
“This off-season I’ve been working hard at getting better at everything – hitting, fielding, stronger, faster, etc.,” said Cronin. “I had a very productive off-season and believe I got better at all those phases of the game. I’m never going to stop working hard.”
Cronin was drafted in the 20th round of the 2017 MLB draft by the Chicago White Sox and played collegiately at the University of Illinois Chicago.
The Otters will open the 25th season celebration against the Southern Illinois Miners on May 10 at Bosse Field.
To purchase a season ticket or group outing package, call (812) 435-8686 or visit the Bosse Field front office at 23 Don Mattingly Way, Evansville, Ind. The front office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions.
The Otters play all home games at historic Bosse Field, located at 23 Don Mattingly Way in Evansville, Ind. Stay up-to-date with the Evansville Otters by visiting evansvilleotters.com, or follow the Otters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686.