RHP Magrisi is Pippins’ lone first-team selection; LHP Gonzales receives honorable mention
Magrisi, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-hander from Cal State Fullerton, was the Pippins’ leading pitcher, with a 2.60 ERA in 34.2 innings pitched across eight games this summer. Magrisi struck out 66 batters and walked only 12 en route to a 2-1 record.
Magrisi struck out 10 or more batters in four appearances, including 13 in his final outing in Victoria on July 20. Ironically, that 6-inning start was his least-effective appearance of the year: He surrendered 10 hits and eight earned runs in the 9-1 loss. In his seven other official appearances, he allowed no more than four hits.
Magrisi, who along with Gonzales were the Pippins’ only two All-Stars this year, was shut down after the July 20 outing because he reached his inning limit for the summer.
Gonzales, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound left-hander from Dixie State who was a second-year pitcher for the Pippins, earned honorable mention WCL honors. He finished 2-2, striking out 45 and walking 19 in 57.2 innings. He allowed 22 earned runs for a 3.43 ERA in 17 games, which included five starts and one complete game.
Since the team’s inception in 2014, 13 Pippins players have earned All-WCL first team honors.
The Pippins’ seventh West Coast League season will begin in June 2020.
The complete All-WCL teams:
All-WCL First Team
C – Frankie Niemann (Tulane, junior), Victoria HarbourCats
1B – Matthew Christian (Campbell, senior), Port Angeles
2B – Jake Harvey (Oregon State, soph), Corvallis Knights
3B – Andy Atwood (Texas Rio Grande Valley, senior), Corvallis Knights
SS – Brooks Lee (Cal Poly, frosh), Corvallis Knights
OF – Patrick Caulfield (UCLA, junior), Walla Walla Sweets
OF – Briley Knight (Utah, soph), Corvallis Knights
OF – Jake Holcroft (Portland, frosh), Corvallis Knights
UTL – Michael Curialle (UCLA, frosh), Corvallis Knights
SP – Tevita Gerber (Dixie State, senior), Corvallis Knights
SP – Nick Proctor (Cal, soph), Bellingham Bells
SP – Joe Magrisi (Cal State Fullerton, soph), Yakima Valley Pippins
SP – Brad McVay (Portland, soph), Portland Pickles
SP – Jake Saum (UCLA, frosh), Wenatchee AppleSox
RP – Rance Pittman (Southeast Missouri State, junior), Cowlitz Black Bears
RP – William Kempner (Gonzaga, frosh), Corvallis Knights
All-WCL Second Team
C – Hunter Montgomery (Portland, junior), Wenatchee AppleSox
1B – Michael Hicks (Boise State, senior), Ridgefield Raptors
2B – Tyler Grissom (Chico State, senior, Kelowna Falcons
3B – Zach Needham (Lewis-Clark State College, senior), Bend Elks
SS – Kody Darcy (Xavier, soph), Wenatchee AppleSox
OF – Nick Plaia (Cal Baptist, senior), Victoria HarbourCats
OF – Ryan Altenberger (Xavier, junior), Wenatchee AppleSox
OF – John Jensen (UC Irvine, senior), Portland Pickles
UTL – Harrison Spohn (Cal Baptist, junior), Victoria HarbourCats
SP – Jackson Arnsdorf (Corban, junior), Corvallis Knights
SP – Travis Craven (Whitman, senior, Walla Walla Sweets
SP – David Watson (Utah, soph), Corvallis Knights
SP – Jack Hyde (San Deigo, frosh), Victoria HarbourCats
SP – Calvin Turchin (Hawaii, junior), Victoria HarbourCats
RP – Coen Wynne (Grand Canyon, junior), Bend Elks
RP – Jimmy Chatfield (Yale, soph), Bellingham Bells
All-WCL Honorable Mention
Bellingham: Justin Armbruester (Bellingham), Collin Burns (Tulane), Austin Kretzschmar (Stanford), Jack Machtolf (Gonzaga), Guthrie Morrison (Gonzaga), Troy Viola (San Jose State)
Bend: Ryan Kaser (Lewis-Clark State)
Corvallis: Brodie Cooper-Vassalakis (Grand Canyon), Connor Knutson (Portland), Tim Josten (Cal State Fullerton)
Cowlitz: Austin Bell (Dallas Baptist), Sam Ireland (UC Irvine), Alex Salazar (Campbellsville)
Kelowna: Matt Voelzke (George Fox)
Port Angeles: Dwayne Angebrandt (Cal State Northridge), Damiano Palmegiani (Cal State Northridge)
Portland: Kyle Manzardo (Washington State), Michael Perzan (Grand Canyon)
Ridgefield: Peter Allegro (Portland), Carter Benbrook (UC Santa Barbara), Joey Martin (Kansas State), Steve Ramirez (Riverside CC), Cameron Repetti (Cal State Fullerton)
Victoria: Parker Bramlett (Angelo State), Austin Celestino (Incarnate Word), Tanner Haney (Texas), Tyson Hays (Illinois State), Chase Meidroth (San Diego), Griffin Paxton (Texas-San Antonio)
Walla Walla: Brock Ephan (Lewis-Clark State), Brayde Hirai (Central Washington), Cesar Lopez (Cal Poly Pomona), Reid Sebby (Oregon State)
Wenatchee: Blake Klassen (Arizona), Kodie Kolden (Washington State), Seth Kuykendall (Western Oregon), Cole McKenzie (Purdue), Johnny Sage (Purdue)
Yakima Valley: Jack Gonzales (Dixie State)
2019 WCL MVP
Briley Knight (Utah) of Corvallis
2019 WCL Pitcher of the Year
Tevita Gerber (Dixie State) of Corvallis
2019 WCL Top Prospect
Brooks Lee (Cal Poly) of CorvallisRead Less
YAKIMA, Wash. – Two pitchers for the Yakima Valley Pippins, right-hander Joe Magrisi and left-hander Jack Gonzales, have been named to the North Division roster for the 2019 West Coast League All-Star Game, the league office announced Tuesday. The All-Star Game will take place on Tuesday, June 23, at Vince Genna Stadium in Bend, Oregon.
It is the first WCL All-Star Game selection for both pitchers. Gonzales, in his second year with the Pippins, has posted a 2-0 record and 1.80 ERA over 30 innings of work. The Oceanside, California native ranks fourth in the West Coast League in ERA, while his 30 innings pitched are 6th-most league-wide.
Gonzales, a rising junior at Dixie State, has struck out 25 batters and walked 10 in 12 appearances, while opponents have hit just .226 off of him. Gonzales made his first start of the summer on Sunday against Port Angeles, throwing a 7-inning complete game and earning the win after allowing 2 runs and striking out a season-high five.
Magrisi, a two-time WCL Pitcher of the Week honoree, leads the league in ERA (0.62) and strikeouts (53) this season. A native of San Diego, California, the right-hander is the only pitcher in the West Coast League with 3 different double-digit strikeout games this season. In his last start, Magrisi earned the win after striking out 11 over 7 shutout innings against Port Angeles.
A rising sophomore at Cal State Fullerton, Magrisi has walked just 9 batters in his 28.2 innings of work this summer, while opponents have hit .115 off of him. Amongst qualified pitchers, that .115 mark ranks as the 2nd-best league-wide, and his 16.6 strikeouts per nine innings leads all qualified arms.
The Pippins’ two All-Stars marks the sixth consecutive season with at least two selections, in the team’s sixth year of existence. It is the first time since 2015 that the Pippins have sent two pitchers to the All-Star Game.Read Less
YAKIMA, Wash. – For the second time in the first 3 weeks of the 2019 season, Pippins right-hander pitcher Joe Magrisi has been named the West Coast League Moss Adams Pitcher of the Week, as announced by commissioner Rob Neyer. After winning the award in the season’s first week, Magrisi was honored today for his accomplishments in the week of June 17-23.
Magrisi, who leads the WCL in strikeouts with 27, tossed 6 innings of no-hit baseball against Kelowna on June 18, striking out 11 and allowing just one baserunners, a walk. He took a no-decision in the Pippins loss.
He becomes the first two-time WCL Moss Adams Pitcher of the Week recipient for the Pippins in 2019. The San Diego native, who will be a sophomore at Cal State Fullerton in the fall, ranks second in the WCL with a 1.12 ERA through 16 innings pitched.Read Less
YAKIMA, Wash. – Yakima Valley Pippins right-handed pitcher Joe Magrisi has been named the West Coast League Pitcher of the Week for the Week of June 4-9, WCL Commissioner Rob Neyer and the league office announced Monday. Magrisi is the first Pippins pitcher honored with the award since Hunter French was the weekly selection on June 11, 2018.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound native of San Diego, California, appeared in two games for the Pippins this past week as the team posted a 5-1 record. He earned the save on Opening Day against the Ridgefield Raptors on the road, striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth inning on 10 pitches. On Friday, Magrisi started the Pippins’ home opener against the Wenatchee AppleSox and earned his first victory of the season, allowing 1 hit over five shutout innings, striking out 7 and not walking a batter.
A rising sophomore at Cal State Fullerton in the fall, Magrisi sits tied for second in the WCL with his 10 strikeouts, and is tied for the league lead with a perfect 0.00 ERA.Read Less
YAKIMA, Wash. – Montana State Billings’ Daniel Cipriano, the 2019 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year, highlights the newest group of position players added to the 2019 Yakima Valley Pippins roster, head coach Marcus McKimmy announced Tuesday.
A transfer from Moorpark College in California, Cipriano made an immediate impact for the Yellowjackets in his first year on campus, capturing the GNAC Triple Crown after leading the league in batting average (.405), home runs (18), and RBIs (52). He also set a school record by reaching base in 41 consecutive games between February and May.
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound right-handed hitting Cipriano is a native of Agoura Hills, California, northwest of Los Angeles. An infielder, he was also named the GNAC Newcomer of the Year, and was a unanimous 1st team All-GNAC selection.
Joining Cipriano on the Pippins’ roster of position players this summer is catcher Spencer Bramwell, and infielders Owen Cobb and Connor Gurnik.
Bramwell, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound right-handed hitter, joins James Bell and Korrey Siracusa as catchers for the Pippins this summer. After playing sparingly as a freshman, he has had a breakout sophomore season as the Maverick’s everyday catcher. Entering play of Colorado Mesa’s NCAA D2 Super Regional against Angelo State this upcoming weekend, Bramwell, a native of San Clemente, California, leads the team with a .383 batting average to go with 11 doubles, 7 homers, and 44 RBIs.
Cobb, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound right-handed hitter, will join the Pippins this summer before he begins his freshman year at Stanford this fall, where he will be teammates with fellow 2019 Pippin Henry Gargus. Cobb attends Garfield High School in Seattle, where he was named a second-team All-USA Washington as a junior in 2018.
Gurnik, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound right-handed hitter, will play his second season in the West Coast League this summer, and his first with the Pippins. A redshirt freshman at Cal Poly, the Naperville, Illinois native has seen consistent playing time on the infield after taking a redshirt year in 2018. Gurnik played for the Kelowna Falcons during the summer of 2017, appearing in 21 games.
Saint Louis’ Scott Youngbrandt and future UCLA Bruin Josh Hahn join the roster
YAKIMA, Wash. – Two two-way players, Saint Louis University’s Scott Youngbrandt and UCLA signee Josh Hahn, are the newest additions to the Yakima Valley Pippins roster, head coach Marcus McKimmy announced Wednesday.
Hahn, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound left-handed pitcher and hitter, will attend UCLA next fall following the conclusion of his high school career at Huntington Beach (Calif.) High School. Playing for one of the top high school teams in southern California, Hahn was a second-team All-State selection as a two-way player his junior season. As a sophomore, in his first year on varsity, he was named the Sunset League Rookie of the Year.
Youngbrandt, a 6-foot, 185-pound freshman from Tinley Park, Illinois, has spent most of his freshman season for the Billikens as a hitter. Youngbrandt has played three different positions for Saint Louis this year, and has recently moved into the leadoff spot in the batting order.
“I have a teammate (at Saint Louis) who played in Victoria, and told me about the West Coast League,” Youngbrandt said. “He said one thing that will be a lot different will be the atmosphere, averaging 1,000 to 1,500 people a night.”
Youngbrandt attended Victor J. Andrew High School in the Chicago area, where he was twice named All-Conference. He was selected Conference Pitcher of the Year as a junior, as well as All-State. D1Baseball.com ranked him the fourth-best freshman in the Atlantic 10 Conference entering the season.
“Coming in as a freshman, you learn a ton of stuff from older players and coaches that you work on implementing into your game,” Youngbrandt noted. “I’ll be trying to implement those things I’ve learned, on both sides of the ball.”Read Less
YAKIMA, Wash. — The Pippins will start their sixth summer of baseball at Yakima County Stadium a couple days earlier than anticipated with the addition of an exhibition game on Sunday, June 2.
Billed as “Sunday Funday with the Pippins,” the game against the Seattle Studs serves more than one purpose for the organization, general manager Jeff Garretson said.
“The event servers as a good training situation for all stadium employees who will be serving fans during the summer, and gives them a chance to work together and learn our systems before Opening Night,” Garretson said. “With many new employees every summer, it’s a real benefit.
“And, obviously, the coaching staff can see our new players in a game situation instead of just practices before we start the regular season at Ridgefield,” Garretson added.
The Sunday game will start at 6:05 p.m., with gates opening at 5:15 p.m.
The event will include discount prices throughout the venue, including $1 parking, $3 admission for all seating levels, $2 hot dogs and regular sodas, $3 hamburgers and French fries, and $3.50 cheeseburgers.
“It’s the first Sunday in June, and we thought it’d be a great day for a family night at the ballpark that lets fans mingle with players in a more laid-back atmosphere,” Garretson said.
The Pippins’ official home opener, presented by Legends Casino and Hotel, is slated for Friday, June 7, against the Wenatchee AppleSox. Gates open at 6 p.m., with first pitch scheduled at 7:05 p.m. The first 1,000 fans will receive a Legends Casino water bottle that will be refillable all season long with $2 fountain drinks. Postgame fireworks will cap the evening.
Tickets for this game and all regular-season home games are available at PippinsTickets.com, by calling 509-575-4487, or in person at the team’s downtown store at 12 S. Second St. in the Larson Building.Read Less
Idaho native Christian Padilla and Kansas City’s Tyler Pittman join 2019 squad
YAKIMA, Wash. – Future Boise State Bronco Christian Padilla and current Pittsburg State Gorilla Tyler Pittman are the newest additions to the 2019 Yakima Valley Pippins outfield, head coach Marcus McKimmy announced Wednesday.
Padilla, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound right-handed hitter, is currently a sophomore at Spokane Falls (Wash.) Community College. He has signed a letter of intent to attend Boise State University starting this fall, where he will be a member of the Broncos’ upstart baseball program, which will take the field in 2020 for the first time since it was disbanded in 1980.
“I’ve heard good things about the Pippins, about Coach McKimmy,” Padilla said. “I know it’s a good league, with lots of good talent. I’m looking forward to seeing better competition and to learn a couple things.”
As a freshman at Spokane Falls last season, Padilla was named 2nd team All-NWAC East Region after hitting .278 with 8 home runs and 31 RBIs and stealing 20 bases. The native of Eagle, Idaho played summer collegiate baseball for the Expedition League’s Badlands Big Sticks last summer, hitting .264 with 5 home runs for the league’s runners-up.
Pittman, a 5-foot-8, 175-pound junior from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, is in his first season at Division II Pittsburg State University in Kansas. He has been a fixture in the lineup this season for the Gorillas, appearing in 23 of 33 games.
The right-handed hitting Pittman transferred to Pittsburg State after two seasons in the junior college ranks in Kansas City. He hit .332 with 6 home runs as a sophomore at Kansas City Kansas Community College, following up an All-Conference freshman year in which he hit .386 with 11 doubles, 7 triples, 3 home runs, and 36 RBIs.Read Less
Dixie State’s Jack Gonzales returns, Portland’s Cole Wilkinson new to staff
YAKIMA, Wash. – A pair of left-handed pitchers, Dixie State’s Jack Gonzales and Portland’s Cole Wilkinson, are the newest members of the 2019 Yakima Valley Pippins. The duo are the first two southpaws added to the roster this year.
A returner from last year’s squad, Gonzales had a strong summer in 2018 in which he posted a 3.04 ERA in 47.1 innings, largely out of the Pippins’ bullpen. Gonzales struck out 39 batters, while opponents hit just .268. He made the final start of the regular season in Corvallis, holding the eventual league champions to just two runs in seven innings.
Gonzales, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound native of San Diego, is working as a starting pitcher in his sophomore season at Dixie State University, in the Trailblazers’ penultimate season in Division II, before they move up to Division I for the 2021 season. His 3.52 ERA for Dixie State as a freshman in 2018 led the team.
Wilkinson, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound freshman from Eugene, Oregon, is currently in his freshman season at Portland. A graduate of Eugene’s Churchill High School, he was named the Oregon Class 5A Pitcher of the Year as a senior in 2018. Additionally, Wilkinson was tabbed first team All-State.
Wilkinson has worked almost exclusively out of the bullpen so far this spring for the Pilots. In eight appearances (with one start), he has pitched 11.2 innings and has struck out 11 batters.Read Less
YAKIMA, Wash. –One of the most decorated high school baseball players in the country, Seattle native Corbin Carroll has signed to play for the Yakima Valley Pippins this summer before beginning his freshman season at UCLA in the fall, the team announced Thursday.
Carroll, a 5-foot-10, 160-pound outfielder, has put together a high-level résumé for a high school baseball player. Last summer, he was named MVP of the Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park in San Diego after going 1-for-1 with a triple and two walks.
Baseball America ranks Carroll the seventh-best available prospect for the 2019 MLB Draft, while MLB Pipeline tabs him as the 14th-best — two of a handful of signals that Carroll could be a high draft pick in MLB’s June amateur draft.
Recently, Carroll was named to Perfect Game’s Northwest Region High School Dream Team for the 2019 season, where he was listed with friend and fellow future Pippin Henry Gargus of Yakima’s Davis High School.
“A big reason why I chose the Pippins was to play (with Gargus),” said Carroll, who is a senior at Lakeside High School. “Really looking forward to the summer … I’m really looking to get better, get at-bats, be fresh and be ready to compete for a spot in that UCLA lineup.”
A fast and athletic left-handed hitter, Carroll has also played at the U18 level for Team USA. At the Pan-American Championships in Panama last November, he starred as Team USA won its fifth straight gold medal, hitting .500 with three home runs in eight games. He also led all players in the tournament with nine stolen bases, and homered in the gold medal game.
“I can’t say enough about that USA experience,” Carroll said. “It’s something I’d wanted to do since I was 13, 14 years old. Not making teams in the past really motivated me, so finally making the team this year felt like a great accomplishment for me, because it really showed my hard work paying off.”Read Less
Reed Garrett, Yakima Valley’s first winning pitcher, makes Detroit’s 25-man roster
YAKIMA, Wash. – Reed Garrett is still making history for the Yakima Valley Pippins.
Garrett, a Virginia Military Institute right-hander in 2014,threw the first pitch in Pippins history — a strike — on June 6, 2014. He pitched seven innings that night and picked up the win in the franchise-opening victory against the Wenatchee AppleSox in front of 3,209 fans at Yakima County Stadium.
Five years later, Garrett is the first Pippin to reach the major leagues, with the Detroit Tigers as a Rule 5 draft selection. He secured a spot in the Tigers bullpen when manager Ron Gardenhire finalized Detroit’s 25-man active roster Monday.
“From a baseball standpoint, Reed’s stuff passes the eye test,” Pippins manager Marcus McKimmy said. “He was our best guy (to start the Pippins’ first-ever game), and he would have been our best guy had he stayed with us all summer.
“But the thing that sticks with me was that he was a genuinely incredible human. He came from a great school, he was a mature adult with a great head on his shoulders, intelligent, a leader by example,” McKimmy continued. “So, for us and the fans who got to see him pitch that first start, they got a glimpse of a really, really quality baseball player and an incredible young man.”
Garrett made two starts in a Pippins uniform and picked up two wins. After earning the victory on opening night in Yakima, he pitched five days later in Corvallis against the Knights, again tossing seven innings and earning the win while striking out six and allowing just two earned runs.
Garrett was drafted in the 16thround by the Texas Rangers in 2014, just one day after his Opening Night start, and spent the first five seasons of his professional career in that organization. He agreed to terms with the Rangers after his second Pippins start, and began his pro career a week later at short-season Spokane in the Northwest League.
In December, he was the fifth overall pick by Detroit in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft.
Under the guidelines of the Rule 5 Draft, Garrett must remain on the 25-man Major League roster for the entire 2019 season, and must remain active (not on the injured list) for at least 90 days. If he does not remain on the Major League roster, he must be offered back to the Rangers organization for $50,000, half of what the Tigers paid to acquire his rights. After a strong spring training, Garrett worked his way into the Tigers’ bullpen plans for 2019, and potentially beyond.
“For a middle-round draft pick, the odds are a little more stacked against you, but for a guy with Reed’s makeup, his character and his personality and his stuff, ultimately, you knew that he had a chance,” McKimmy said. “And for minor league baseball, that’s all any of these guys really want and ask for. For Reed, he’s a great example of a guy who wasn’t highly invested in, but he bet on himself and had the make-up and character and ability to get there, to go through the trials and grind of minor league baseball.”
A starter for the Pippins and in college at VMI, Garrett primarily remained a starter for the first three years of his pro career. After a full-time move to the bullpen in 2017 at Double-A Frisco, Texas, everything took off – both literally and figuratively.
Garrett’s strikeout rate, which hovered between six and seven strikeouts per nine innings as a starter, jumped to over a batter per inning the past two seasons. His previously low-90s fastball now sits in the mid-90s and has touched 99, to go with a power breaking ball, a newly implemented split-finger fastball, and a change-up. He split 2018 between Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock, Texas, and posted a combined 2.04 ERA while striking out 61 batters in 61.2 innings.
Garrett figures to be a key piece out of the bullpen for a Tigers pitching staff that includes WCL alums Matthew Boyd (Corvallis) and Blaine Hardy (Bend/Wenatchee). In spring training for Detroit, he posted an ERA of 6.10 in ten appearances, striking out 11 batters in 10.1 innings of work.
The Tigers open their 2019 regular season Thursday in Toronto against the Blue Jays. Detroit visits the Seattle Mariners July 25-28.Read Less
YAKIMA, Wash. – Three freshmen from perennial Division I power Cal State Fullerton – infielder Zach Lew, right-handed pitcher Joe Magrisi, and catcher Korrey Siracusa – are the newest additions to the 2019 Yakima Valley Pippins, head coach Marcus McKimmy announced Tuesday.
The trio comes to Yakima County Stadium from a program that has made 27 straight NCAA regional appearances, and two of the past four College World Series.
Lew, a 5-foot-9, 165-pound, right-handed-hitting infielder, is in his first year at Fullerton after prepping at southern California baseball powerhouse Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High School. Playing in one of the best high school baseball conferences in the country, Lew was a second-team All-League selection as a senior in 2018.
“Lew can play all three infield positions (3B, 2B, and SS) really well,” McKimmy said. “He is already finding his way into the lineup as a true freshman. When people ask me about Zach, I just tell them he’s as tough as they come and helps his team win.”
Magrisi, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-handed pitcher, is also in his first year at Fullerton as a hard-throwing bullpen piece. The San Diego, California, native was ranked the 10th-best freshman in the Big West Conference by Baseball America entering the 2019 season.
“Joe has swing-and-miss stuff,” McKimmy said. “He projects as a rotation guy for us, but can pitch effectively in all roles. Sneaky velocity and a plus slider jump off the page.”
At Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, Magrisi went 12–0 with a 0.75 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 93 innings as a senior, while only walking 12 batters. For his efforts, he was named Prep Baseball Report State Pitcher of the Year, League Pitcher of the Year, and San Diego CIF Player of the Year. Additionally, Magrisi broke 21-year Major League veteran and 3-time All-Star David Wells’ San Diego high school record for consecutive scoreless innings when he pitched 54.2 straight frames unblemished.
“He is throwing out of the bullpen at Fullerton now, so he will be fresh and motivated to impress when he arrives in Yakima in June,” said McKimmy.
Siracusa, a 5-foot-8, 180-pound, right-handed-hitting catcher, is a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, where he attended Mililani High School. Siracusa was a first-team All-State selection as a senior in 2018, as well as an All-League pick. He helped lead Mililani to its first conference title since 1997, when the school won the league in 2018.
“Siracusa is behind an older, more experienced starter in former Pippins All-Star Daniel Cope,” said McKimmy. “He’s more than likely going to redshirt and be one of our best guys behind the plate when he puts on the Pippin green.”Read Less
Davis High’s Henry Gargus, Oregon State’s Greg Fuchs join 2019 squad
YAKIMA, Wash. – Davis High School senior Henry Gargus, and Oregon State freshman Greg Fuchs are joining the Pippins for the 2019 season, head coach Marcus McKimmy announced Monday.
“We start building this roster in the fall,” McKimmy said. “Henry and Greg — we’ve had them committed since the fall. They’re incredible lefty bats, and I’m excited to bring them in here to County Stadium, which has always played well to left-handed power bats.”
Gargus, a 6-foot, 205-pound first baseman and outfielder who is headed to Stanford in the fall, is entering his senior season at A.C. Davis High School this spring. The Yakima native is ranked by Baseball Americaas the 136th-best prospect for the upcoming 2019 MLB Draft.
“Henry is one of the highly touted high school players in the country, not just in the Northwest,” said McKimmy. “The fact that he lives just mere miles from us in Yakima, that’s just a benefit, and an incredible one at that.”
Gargus was named a 2018 Perfect Game All-American and participated in the All-American Classic at Petco Park in San Diego last summer. An all-state selection as a junior at Davis, he also won the home run derby at the 2018 Area Code Games in Long Beach, Calif. On Friday, Gargus was named to Perfect Game’s Northwest Region High School Dream Team for the 2019 season.
“There’s pride on both sides,” McKimmy said of having a high-level Yakima native stay home for the summer and play in front of family and friends. “Even more important, Henry is an outstanding character, an outstanding individual. His makeup is off the charts.”
“Every teacher, mentor, coach, just have rave reviews,” McKimmy continued. “These types of guys don’t come around in a clubhouse all the time.”
Fuchs (pronounced FYOOKS) is a 6-foot, 192-pound outfielder and catcher from Mercer Island, Wash. He is currently playing his freshman season for the reigning NCAA Division I national champion Beavers.
“Greg is versatile,” McKimmy noted. “He was a catcher, first baseman, and outfielder in high school, but will primarily play outfield and DH at Oregon State. We see some value in him potentially starting behind the plate for us at times, just to get another bat in the lineup while also playing the corner outfield as well.
“Anytime that you’ve got a guy that you can put behind the dish in a pinch at the college level and then in the outfield has immense value to your ballclub.”
Fuchs made an immediate impact for the Beavers on Opening Day, hitting a pinch-hit, walk-off, 2-RBI single in his first collegiate at-bat to beat New Mexico in Surprise, Ariz. He was named to the Seattle TimesAll-Area team as a senior at Mercer Island High School after hitting .486 with three home runs and 25 RBIs, and earned league MVP honors.
“Oregon State has done such an incredible job of recruiting young talent, really developing those guys into national title competitors,” McKimmy noted. “Greg had an immediate impact early on as a non-starter, and that shows you the trust they had in their bench, their young guys, their recruits, and the ability to have depth.”Read Less
Ridgefield will host Yakima Valley on June 4; Pippins open at home on June 7
YAKIMA, Wash. – The Yakima Valley Pippins will open their 2019 West Coast League campaign against the newest addition to the league, the Ridgefield Raptors, with a three-game series that begins Tuesday, June 4.
The Pippins, starting their sixth year in the wood-bat collegiate summer league, will open their 32-game home schedule at Yakima County Stadium on Friday, June 7, against the Wenatchee AppleSox. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
Ridgefield was announced as the 12th team in the WCL this summer. The Raptors, owned by the same group that owns and operates the Cowlitz Black Bears, will join the WCL South, which will give both divisions six teams each.
The Pippins will have 27 home league games and five nonleague opponents. The nonleague dates and opponents will be announced later.
The Pippins schedule can be viewed here.
The league’s regular season concludes on Sunday, Aug. 11, with playoffs starting two days later. The Pippins will host their sister team, the Walla Walla Sweets, on the final home weekend of the season.
Per league scheduling guidelines, the Pippins will not travel to Walla Walla or Bend this season. Likewise, Yakima Valley will not host Portland or Cowlitz this summer.
Pippins home games will begin at 6:35 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, except for special event nights such as fireworks nights. Sunday games will begin at 6:05 p.m. The Pippins promotional schedule will be announced early next year.
Season tickets for the 2019 season are available for purchase at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St., in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima, by calling 509-575-4487, or online at PippinsTickets.com. The Pippins’ holiday kiosk in the Valley Mall in Union Gap will open Nov. 17.
Tickets for Opening Night, presented by Legends Casino and Hotel, will go on sale in December, with special pricing available only that month.Read Less
YAKIMA, Wash. — Outfielder Kyle Dean has been crowned the West Coast League batting champion after leading all batters with a .374 average over the 54-game WCL season.
Dean, who joined the Pippins en route to their trip to Kelowna, B.C. on June 22, played in 37 games. He finished with 52 hits in 139 at-bats, including eight doubles, four triples and two home runs. Dean, who attended Brigham Young University this past spring and is transferring to Cal State Monterey Bay this fall, also had 24 RBI, 19 walks and four hit-by-pitches.
Dean’s best plate appearance was a 4-for-5 effort against Corvallis on July 10 in Yakima, in which he doubled and drove in a run. Two days earlier, Dean had an individual-best 3 RBI game at Port Angeles, and drove in multiple runs in six league games.
In nonleague play, Dean had a 4-for-5, 7-RBI game against the Gresham GreyWolves on July 26 that included a grand slam.Read Less
Jake Moberg, Cole Pofek and Chase Farrell will be representing the Pippins in Port Angeles for the 2018 West Coast League All-Star Game on July 17th.
Moberg has been a consistent bat near the top of the lineup for the Pippins this season. He is hitting .339 (1st on the team) with a home run and 11 RBI. In the Pippins last series in Port Angeles, Moberg went 5-12 (.417) with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI. Moberg will be attending UCLA in the fall as a freshman.
Pofek has provided power in the middle of the lineup for the Pippins. He leads the team with 4 home runs and is second on the team with 18 RBI. In his first 4 games of the season, Pofek went 8-16 (.500) with 7 runs scored, 2 home runs and 9 RBI. Pofek will be entering his sophomore year at UC Riverside in the fall.
Farrell has been a dynamic arm that has anchored the top of the Pippins starting rotation. Farrell is 0-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 4 games (3 starts). In his 19.2 innings pitched, Farrell has racked up 29 strikeouts while walking just 2 batters. He turned in his best start of the season on July 6 against Port Angeles where he went 7 innings of one run ball with no walks and 12 strikeouts. The 12 K’s broke a Pippins single game strikeout record held by Eli Morgan who struck out 11 batters on two separate occasions in 2014. Farrell will be in his sophomore year at UCLA in the fall.Read Less
Pippins pitcher Hunter French was awarded the West Coast League’s Moss Adams Pitcher of the Week on Monday. Over the past week, French pitched in two games, one start against the Bend Elks and one relief appearance against the Harbourcats. He threw a combined nine innings allowing just one unearned run on six hits while striking out ten and walking one.
He picked up a win on June 8 in the Pippins 10-2 win over the Elks. French went six innings allowing one unearned run and striking out six.
“He has just continued to get better and better in his two years with us,” said Pippins Manager Marcus McKimmy after French’s start against the Elks. “He’s obviously older and more experienced now but just with his work ethic and mentality, even facing a little difficulty there in the early innings he didn’t flinch and really settled in nicely and gave us a quality start when we needed it.”
French pitched in one game for the Pippins in 2017 throwing 6 innings of two run ball against the Bellingham Bells.
French will be a junior at Central Washington University in the fall. With Columbia Basin College this spring, French went 4-3 with a 4.34 ERA in 76.2 innings pitched.Read Less
PORTLAND — Rob Neyer, a former ESPN and Fox Sports journalist, has been named the West Coast League’s new commissioner as the league revamps its leadership structure heading into the 2018 season.
Neyer is the league’s first commissioner since ABCA Hall of Fame head coach Jim Dietz of San Diego State presided over the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League, during the circuit’s formative years.
“We are thrilled to have Rob Neyer represent the West Coast League and act as our league’s commissioner,” said WCL president Tony Bonacci. “His knowledge of the game and passion for what we are doing, not to mention his contacts in baseball, should help us elevate the league to new heights.”
“We can’t be more pleased that Rob has joined us as our commissioner.”
Neyer lives in Portland.
A baseball writer known for his pioneering use of statistical analysis and sabermetrics, Rob began his career working for Bill James and STATS, Inc. He’s also worked for 15 years as a columnist and blogger for ESPN, and was National Baseball Editor at Vox Media’s SB Nation from 2011 to 2013, then Senior Baseball Editor for Fox Sports through 2015. His recent work has been featured in The New York Times, Vice Sports, Complex Sports, and Yahoo, among others.
This October, HarperCollins will publish POWER BALL: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game, Neyer’s seventh book.
“I’m a passionate, longtime fan of baseball history generally, and Pacific Northwest baseball specifically,” Neyer said. “So it’s difficult for me to imagine a more exciting opportunity, and I’m honored to be associated with such a fine organization. This summer, as I connect with the owners and visit all the beautiful ballparks, I’ll do everything I can to help this great league become even greater.”
WCL members will look to the league’s new commissioner to arbitrate and regulate during the season; to further connect the league and its teams with the baseball community, its markets and those that follow the game; and to act as a league ambassador.Read Less
West Coast League initiative aims to bring visual medium to all 11 ballparks
YAKIMA, Wash. – Pippins fans will have a new way to catch Yakima Valley’s 32 home games this summer through a new live-video option available at Yakima County Stadium.
Adding a pay-per-view and season subscription options for all home games in Yakima is part of a larger, West Coast League initiative to have all games live-streamed for fans. Both the Pippins and Walla Walla Sweets started a rudimentary Periscope broadcast for home and away games in 2014. In 2016, the Victoria HarbourCats launched a multi-camera broadcast. Earlier this year, the WCL board of directors approved an initiative to help each ballclub capitalize a video-streaming service in each park. The league anticipates that all clubs will have a live-video solution available for all games.
“We’re excited to be able to extend our reach even further with live video for our local fans, and fans outside the area who can’t come to Yakima,” Pippins general manager Jeff Garretson said. “Broadcaster Kevin Vallene has experience both with radio and video broadcasts, and he’s a great asset to have on board as we launch this new medium.
The single-camera operation this year is expected to become a multi-camera setup for 2019, Garretson said. The video stream will include simulcast audio from the Pippins’ English-radio broadcasts on 1460 ESPN Yakima. Advertising options just for streaming video are available, or can be packaged with other advertising mediums, Garretson said.
Single-game and full-season passes will go on sale in May. Some games, or parts of games, may be available for free on certain platforms, such as Facebook Live. Garretson said those details are still being finalized.
The Pippins will use Boxcast, a comprehensive cloud-based solution that includes a full production suite to allow for a great viewing experience. This platform will also allow the Pippins to grow working relationships with local education facilities, as this new initiative creates paying jobs for developing multimedia and video production students.Read Less
Yaks’ Matt Driver had two stints with team in 2017
YAKIMA, Wash. – Yakima Valley’s Pippins are adding another familiar face to the 2018 roster.
Pitcher Matt Driver, a 6-foot-2 sophomore right-hander, was on the 2017 squad to start and end the season with a pair of 10-day contracts. This year, the Kennewick native has been signed to a full-season contract.
Also joining the Pippins is YVC teammate Easton Henke, a 6-3 sophomore right-hander from Kamiakin High School in Kennewick, and Bellevue College sophomore infielder Grant DeLappe from Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, Wash.
“The NWAC (Northwest Athletic Conference) consistently produces and develops quality players who move on to Division 1, NAIA, and professional baseball year in and year out,” Pippins manager Marcus McKimmy said.
Driver, pitched 8.2 innings in six appearances for the Pippins last summer, finishing 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA. But he’s been impressive for the Yaks so far this spring: He’s 1-0 with a 4.09 ERA in 11 innings. In his past two appearances, Driver has struck out 18 batters in 9 innings, picking up a victory against Centralia CC on March 11, his most recent appearance.
“I’ve seen Matt’s fastball up to 90-91 this year, but what impresses me most is that he’s learning how to take full control of games from the rubber,” McKimmy said. “He is in great shape and mentally ready for the rigors of the WCL schedule.”
Henke has struck out seven and walked five in 8.1 innings so far this season, coming out of the bullpen in two of the three games in which he’s seen action. He’s 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA.
“I’ve had my eye on Easton for some time. He will pitch out of the bullpen for us, and will have a valuable role in the middle to late innings when the game is on the line,” McKimmy said. “Easton is a quality YVC pitcher, with experience, who has earned the opportunity to put on the Pippin green. I am pumped to have him.”
DeLappe, who will attend Washington State University in the fall, is a 6-foot-1, 170-pound middle infielder for the Bulldogs and is hitting .194 in 13 games so far this spring. In 2017, DeLappe batted .300 with 12 doubles, six triples and seven home runs for Bellevue.
“He can really hit and play defense – though he’s gotten off to a slow start at the plate this year,” McKimmy said. “I like the energy he plays the game with, which for a shortstop on our team is essential. He can be a field general and solidify our defense in the middle of the diamond. WSU got a real good player here.”
The Pippins host Walla Walla on June 1 in both teams’ season opener. Tickets for opening night, presented by Legends Hotel and Casino, are currently available for purchase at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St. in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima, by calling 509-575-4487 or at pippinsbaseball.com.Read Less
Pair from UC Irvine, infielder from Cal Poly heading to Yakima
YAKIMA, Wash. – Two freshmen infielders and a freshman right-handed pitcher are the newest additions to the Yakima Valley Pippins roster for 2018.
Nick DiCarlo, a 6-foot-2, 190-pounder at Cal Poly SLO, is currently batting .300 (6 for 20) for the Mustangs in the 11 games he’s played as a true freshman. DiCarlo attended Arcadia High School in Phoenix, where he hit .372 with 12 doubles, two home runs and 19 during his senior season in 2017.
“Nick is a very talented freshman who will be an infielder who stands out immediately when he puts on the Pippin green,” Yakima Valley manager Marcus McKimmy said. “He’s very dynamic in his offensive skill set and will probably play a lot of third base for us, but can play the other two infield spots as well.
“Since he’s already seeing early action this spring for the Mustangs, he will hit the ground running when he gets to Yakima,” McKimmy continued. “Nick’s a winner, and we expect that to infect his teammates and Yakima County Stadium. He played for the Utah Marshalls out of high school, which is on the short list of best summer programs in the western United States.”
McKimmy is also looking forward to the versatility of Brendan Brooks, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound freshman infielder at Cal Irvine.
“We really like the versatility that Brendan will give us offensively and defensively,” he said. “He is just a really good, skilled baseball player. I’m confident that he can play all three infield spots in the summer, but his first college start was in the outfield.”
Brooks, from Corona, Calif., attended Norco High School in Norco, Calif., where he hit .370 with nine doubles and 12 RBI in 28 games his senior year. At Irvine, he’s hitting .297 in nine starts with the Anteaters.
Teammate Jake Lachemann, a 6-foot-7, 205-pound right-hander, also is expected to have an impact with the Pippins.
“Jake will be an important piece of our bullpen,” McKimmy said. “He is an 88- to 90-mph arm from an incredibly valuable angle, given his height.”
Lachemann was 3-1 with three saves in 20 innings pitched for San Juan Hills High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., in 2017. He’s also the grandson of former Major League Baseball player and manager Marcel Lachemann.
“One thing I’ve learned is to trust the value of baseball families,” McKimmy said.
The Pippins open their fifth anniversary season on June 1, hosting the Walla Walla Sweets at Yakima County Stadium. Season tickets for the team’s 32-game home schedule are currently available for purchase at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St. in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima, by calling 509-575-4487 or at pippinsbaseball.com.Read Less
Right-handers Chase Farrell, Sean Mullen both hail from California
YAKIMA, Wash. – Chase Farrell, who originally signed with the Pippins prior to the 2017 season, and Sean Mullen, a pair of right-handers attending or headed to UCLA, are the newest additions to Yakima Valley’s pitching staff this summer.
Farrell, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound hurler from Valencia, Calif., was selected by the Houston Astros in the 40th round of th 2017 Major League Baseball draft. As a senior at Valencia High, he finished with an 8-2 record and a 1.43 ERA in 73.2 innings, with 83 strikeouts and one no-hitter.
“His arm really works,” Pippins manager Marcus McKimmy said. “What most of our fans don’t remember is that Chase was signed to be a Pippin in 2017. He had a dominant senior year and didn’t play summer ball because of innings restrictions. He is even better this year, a year older, and could possibly throw some starter innings for UCLA as a true freshman. He will be in the 89-90 mph range with his fastball, and he has a really good changeup, and a slider.”
Mullen, a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder from Bakersfield, Calif., is heading into his senior season at Stockdale High. As a junior, Mullen was 9-1 with a 3.48 ERA in 54.1 innings. He struck out 61 and walked 35. Mullen, who also plays infield, led the Mustangs with a .470 average, 47 hits and seven home runs, and was the second-leading batter with 11 doubles and 29 RBI.
“Up until this year (2017), I thought he was going to be a pitcher only in college,” Stockdale coach Brad Showers told the Bakersfield Californian newspaper last summer. “I didn’t know if he was good enough to be a two-way guy.”
After Mullen’s breakout junior season, Showers said he believes Mullen could be a two-way starter for the Bruins.
McKimmy is looking forward to having Mullen on the Pippins roster.
“I anticipate his role will be condensed to a vital bullpen arm for us, depending on how much he throws this spring, but having his versatility will be crucial for 59 games this summer,” McKimmy said. “Reports have had Mullen up to the 92-94 mph range, which will give him a great advantage in this wood-bat league if he’s a consistent strike-thrower.
“In talking with Sean recently, he’s really pumped to make Yakima Valley his home this summer.”
The Pippins open their fifth anniversary season on June 1, hosting the Walla Walla Sweets at Yakima County Stadium. Season tickets for the team’s 32-game home schedule are currently available for purchase at Hunky Shaw’s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St. in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima, by calling 509-575-4487 or online at pippinsbaseball.com. Discounted opening night tickets are also on sale through the end of February.Read Less
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