01/22/2017 4:32 PM
Pippins add pair of infielders to 2017 squad
YAKIMA, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins have signed a pair of infielders from standout West Coast programs for the upcoming season, and manager Marcus McKimmy believes they’ll be up to filling some big shoes from last summer.
Bradlee Beesley, a freshman at Cal Poly-SLO, and Conner McNally, a redshirt freshman at the University of Utah, are expected to solidify the Pippins’ middle infield – where shortstop Freddy Smith and second baseman Christian Koss earned first-team all-West Coast League honors in 2016.
“Replacing two all-WCL middle infielders is a tall order,” McKimmy said. “That being said, these two individuals come from Top 25 programs in the country, and they will be impact players for us on the infield as well as leaders in the clubhouse.”
Beesley, a 5-foot-10, 170-pounder from San Leandro, Calif., hit .410 as a high school senior and stole 23 bases in 25 attempts. He also had eight doubles, three triples, three home runs and 19 RBIs en route to earning West Alameda County Conference Player of the Year honors at San Leandro High School.
“Our fans love talented shortstops, but Bradlee can really run and is tough as nails on top of that,” McKimmy said. “I anticipate that he will be Cal Poly’s starting shortstop as a freshman on opening day, and will hit at the top of our order when he gets to Yakima. He has really good instincts on the bases, and a great feel for the game – which will fit nicely into our offensive philosophy.”
During his senior year, Beesley struck out just five times in 102 plate appearances.
McNally, a 5-foot-7, 165-pounder from Morgana, Calif., hit .260 with six doubles and three triples and plated 16 runs for the Medford Rogues in the Great West League last summer. He also stole 16 bases.
“I’m excited to bring our first player from the University of Utah,” McKimmy said of McNally. “Connor was a redshirt on Utah’s Pac-12 title team in 2016, and looks to make an impact as a redshirt freshman this spring. He will have the opportunity to play all three infield spots for us this summer, but his ability to play second base and turn the double play is well above average.”
At Campolindo High School, McNally was a three-time all-Diablo Foothill Athletic League all-star, earning first-team honors as a junior and as a senior.