Yakima Valley Pippins Add Pair Of UCLA Bruins Arms To 2018 Roster
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.