March 12, 2017 - West Coast League (WCL) - Yakima Valley Pippins
YAKIMA, Wash. - A pair of up-and-coming players headed to California universities upon graduation are the latest additions to the 2017 Yakima Valley Pippins.
Outfielder Tora Otsuka, son of former Major League reliever Aki Otsuka (San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers), and pitcher Chase Farrell are expected to contribute greatly this summer. Otsuka will head to the University of San Diego this fall, and Farrell will play at UCLA.
"Tora can play a true center field at this level," Pippins manager Marcus McKimmy said of the 5-foot-9, 170-pound left-handed hitter. "We\'ve really loaded our lineup with left-handed bats this summer, but I would not be surprised if he quickly becomes a fan-favorite because of the way he can impact the game offensively. Being the son of a former Major Leaguer, Tora will bring a style and flair to Yakima that is fun to watch."
So far this spring at Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, Otsuka is hitting .333 (3 for 9) in three games, with two stolen bases.
Farrell, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound right-hander, is 1-1 with a 2.40 ERA in 11.2 innings pitched for Valencia High School in Valencia, Calif., this spring. He has struck out 13 batters while holding the opponents to a .227 batting average in his two appearances.
"We\'ve had very good success with our continued relationship at UCLA, and this summer our fans should expect no different," McKimmy said. "Chase is easily 88 to 89 mph with an advanced slider. Even though his senior season is just getting underway, he\'ll continue to make strides before his arrival in Yakima. He is not afraid to compete, and he will mix nicely with our talented pitching staff this summer."
The Pippins will host Victoria, British Columbia, on Friday, June 2, in the 2017 season opener, presented by Legends Casino and Hotel. On July 18, the Pippins will host the West Coast League All-Star Game, which will showcase the top talent from the summer league\'s 11 teams in the Northwest. Season tickets and ticket mini plans - which include tickets to the All-Star Game -- are available for purchase at Hunky Shaw\'s Team Shop, 12 S. Second St. in the historic Larson Building in downtown Yakima. Ticket packages also can be purchased by calling 509-575-4487 or online at pippinsbaseball.com.