GARY, IN. 2-16-2011 – Utility man Louis Ott and the Gary SouthShore RailCats have agreed to terms on a contract for the 2011 season. Ott returns to Northwest Indiana after a superb 2010 season which saw the switch-hitter bat .301 with 26 doubles in 90 games.
Ott, 25, was a mainstay in Manager Greg Tagert’s lineup in 2010 and turned in an impressive season producing consistently at the plate earning a .301 batting average while bouncing around a number of different positions, starting at least nine games at five different spots. In his previous five years as a pro, Ott collected 27 doubles, nine triples, six homers, and held a career .360 on-base percentage. In 2010 alone, Ott belted 26 doubles, six triples (good for second in the Northern League) and six homers while posting a sparkling .391 on-base percentage.
Ott has reached as high as Double-A in his career and brought a knack for getting on base and the ability to play a number of positions to the RailCats. Ott boasts a .367 lifetime on-base percentage and has played at least 25 career games at second base, third base and shortstop, and has even played 11 games in the outfield and first base, and catcher 21 times. The switch hitter also appeared in three games on the mound for the RailCats in 2010 allowing four hits and three earned runs in three innings.
Before his outstanding 2010 season with the RailCats, Ott was coming off his best professional season in 2009, batting .280 in 64 games for the Florida Marlins High-A affiliate in the Florida State League. Ott collected 61 hits and walked 39 times in 264 plate appearances for the Jupiter Hammerheads, good for a career-best .388 on-base percentage.
Drafted in the 13th Round of the 2005 Major League Entry Draft by the Detroit Tigers, Ott made his professional debut later that season by hitting .231 in 32 games for the Tigers Gulf Coast League affiliate. Ott slowly climbed the organizational ladder for the Tigers and produced sound numbers at each stop, posting an on-base percentage above .363 in 2006 and 2007, then reaching Erie (AA) for seven games in 2008.
Ott attended Sacramento City College for two seasons before beginning his professional career. A native of Peteluma, California, Ott now makes his home in the same town as another switch-hitting RailCats infielder, Jay Pecci.
The addition of Ott gives the RailCats 14 players under contract for the 2011 season joining fellow infielders Chris Carrara and Brian Kolb, catchers John Parham and Mike Valadez, outfielders Adam Klein, Mike Massaro and Cody McMorris, and pitchers Zeb Engle, Derrick Gordon, Aaron Jenkins, Will Krout, Nolan Nicholson, and Carlos Rivas. All 14 players will be part of an at least 28-man squad when the RailCats open Spring Training on April 30 at U. S. Steel Yard.
The RailCats open the 2011 season on the road May 12 against the Grand Prairie Air Hogs. The ‘Cats open U. S. Steel Yard on Friday, May 20 at 7:10 p.m. against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Season tickets and flex packs for the RailCats first season as members of the American Association are on sale now by calling the RailCats at 219.882.2255.