Otters extend starter Beardsley; sign Fernandez and Holdgrafer

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters have signed starting pitcher Tyler Beardsley to a contract extension and signed pitchers Andrew Fernandez and Tim Holdgrafer for the 2020 season.

Beardsley is from Tehachapi, Calif. and returned to the Otters in 2019. In 2019, Beardsley went 9-4 with a 2.56 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 130.0 innings pitched and 20 starts.

“Last season, Tyler increased his velocity and kept the movement and command of his pitches,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said.  “He evolved and excelled in the starting rotation.”

“I was very pleased how my season went last year, and I’m looking forward to competing again this season with this year’s group,” Beardsley said.

Beardsley was also the recipient of the 2019 Frontier League Fran Riordan Citizenship Award for his involvement in community outreach.

“Tyler is a great pitcher but even better person, volunteering his free time by attending all outreach events for the Otters,” McCauley said. “He is highly visible in the community as well as working with our youth camps, the Highland Challenger League, and Beautiful Lives Project.”

During the 2019-20 offseason, the right-hander pitched in Australia for the Adelaide Giants, making three starts, posting a 1.59 ERA, and striking out 20 in 17 innings.

“Tyler had exceptional workouts with several affiliated teams this offseason and in Australia, setting him up for a great chance for getting picked up,” McCauley said.

“My experience out in Australia was incredible,” Beardsley said. “I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to play baseball and explore a whole different side of the world.”

Beardsley was drafted by the Minnesota Twins organization in the 16th round of the 2016 MLB June Amateur draft out of California State University Sacramento.

In 2016-17, Beardsley spent time with the Cedar Rapid Kernels, Elizabethton Twins and the GCL Twins. In those two years with the Minnesota Twins organization, Beardsley was 7-11 with a 4.32 ERA in 30 appearances with 27 starts. He also had 94 strikeouts in 150.0 innings pitched.

Fernandez, from Castro Valley, Calif, joins the Otters after spending 2019 with the Napa Silverados of the Pacific Association. With Napa, Fernandez went 4-3 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 games, recording one save as well. The right-hander also struck out 44 in 40.1 innings pitched.

“An affiliated scout was high on Andrew and wanted to find him a job,” McCauley said. “Max Peterson (Otters pitching coach) is well-known and respected throughout scouting, and it was the perfect opportunity to put him and Andrew together.”

“Having the opportunity to be a part of a team with a rich history and a dedication to success really makes me look forward to helping the team in any way possible,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez played college baseball at California State University East Bay, where for his career he posted a 12-9 record, a 4.04 ERA, and 10 saves. He made 10 starts and a total of 73 appearances, striking out 103 batters in 147 innings.

“With his lower arm angle, he will probably factor in as a situational right-hander,” McCauley said.

“I’ve had success with being able to use my deception as a side-sub guy to get outs when I need it most,” Fernandez said.

“I love making a hitter feel uncomfortable in the box and keep them constantly guessing which pitch is coming next.”

Holdgrafer, from San Diego, Calif., most recently finished his collegiate career at Cal Poly Pomona, pitching for the Broncos.

“Coming from the San Diego area, where Max has great connections, Tim was a pitcher that was recommended to him through those connections,” McCauley said.

“I’m excited most about the high-level competition and a completely new opportunity of getting to be a part of a well-known team for getting players to the next level,” Holdgrafer said.

In 2019 with the Broncos, Holdgrafer went 10-4 with a 4.39 ERA, striking out 86 batters in 96.1 innings.

“Tim will be competing for one of the rookie bullpen jobs come Spring Training, and we’ll see what he has in the arsenal,” McCauley said.

“I’m not a light up the radar gun type of pitcher, but I’m a pitcher that commands pitches for strikes and will compete in any situation,” Holdgrafer said. “I attack hitters and work for outs.”

Evansville will host Opening Night from Bosse Field against the Gateway Grizzlies May 15 at 6:35 p.m. Preseason exhibitions will begin May 2 for the Otters. The annual Education Day games will be May 6 and May 13 at 10 a.m.

You won’t want to miss what’s new in 2020 at Bosse Field with the Evansville Otters, featuring some new Frontier League competition as part of the largest, independent professional league in North America!

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.

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