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Otters bring back Phillips and Bukowski; sign Watland and West



EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters have signed catcher Dakota Phillips and pitcher Reid Bukowski to return in 2022, while also signing newcomers Justin Watland and Zach West for the 2022 season.


Phillips, a Nacogdoches, Texas native, enters his third season with the Otters. In 2021 with the Otters, Phillips hit .256 with 38 runs, 16 doubles, 12 home runs, and 45 RBIs in 72 games played.


During his two seasons with Evansville, Phillips has split time defensively catching and at first base.


Following the cancellation of the 2020 Frontier League championship season due to COVID-19, Phillips played with the Lightning Sloths of the Constellation Energy League.


Phillips joined the Otters in 2019 after playing for the New York Bucks of the independent Empire Professional Baseball League in 2018.


Bukowski, from Grapevine, Texas, heads into his second season with Evansville. In 2021, he saw limited action due to injury. Bukowski struck out 11 in seven appearances and nine innings pitched with the Otters.


Bukowski pitched collegiately at Louisiana State University-Alexandria in a shortened 2020 season. He finished with a 4.76 ERA in five appearances, striking out five in 5.2 innings with one save. Early in his college career, he pitched at Clarendon College.


Watland, a Reno, Nev. native, has two seasons of professional experience, playing for the San Rafael Pacifics in the Pacific Association in 2019 and pitching in 2021 for Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer League and the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association.


Overall, in his professional career, Watland is 4-0 with a 6.08 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 26 appearances and 66.2 innings pitched.


The right-hander started his collegiate career at Feather River College before finishing at San Jose State University, where he made 33 career appearances with 42 strikeouts in two seasons.


West is from Dunnellon, Fla. and most recently played ball at the University of North Florida for the Ospreys in 2020. The 2020 was shortened due to COVID-19, but West went 8 for 19 with five RBIs. He slashed .421/.421/.542, while making appearances at shortstop and second base.


Prior to North Florida, West played junior college ball at the College of Central Florida, hitting .290 with nine home runs 54 RBI and 79 total hits over his two years with the Patriots.


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, or follow the Otters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


For more information, visit or call (812) 435-8686.

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Frontier League 2006, 2016
Est. 1995, Evansville