Pippins OF Vince Fernandez Named West Coast League MVP - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pippins OF Vince Fernandez Named West Coast League MVP

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YAKIMA, WA – After a record-setting summer with the Yakima Valley Pippins, Vince Fernandez was honored by the West Coast League Tuesday as the league’s most valuable player, the first player from an expansion team to garner this accolade in WCL history.

“It’s gratifying to see that coaches around the league have recognized the significant impact of what Vince was able to do in all facets of the game this summer,” said Pippins Manager Marcus McKimmy. “Vince is a very special player who was an everyday centerfielder for us and extremely talented run creator on the bases, and especially with that bat. We are extremely grateful he was a Pippin and can’t wait to track his progress as a sophomore at UC Riverside.”

Fernandez, an outfielder from UC Riverside, hit .359 this season (5th in the WCL) with a league-best 10 home runs and 51 runs batted in, both of which set new WCL single-season records. Fernandez broke both records simultaneously with a grand slam at Wenatchee in the final game of the regular season.

In addition to his triple-crown statistics, Fernandez also led the team in hits (61), doubles (13) and walks (31), while finishing tied for first with three triples. He had an OPS of 1.121, which was also tops in the WCL (among position players with more than 5 at-bats).

“We are excited to see Vince honored for such an impressive season,” said Pippins President Zachary Fraser. “We have wonderful relationships with some of the top college programs in the country, such as Coach Percival’s club at UC Riverside, and look forward to being partners with these schools in cultivating their top players each summer.”

Fernandez, who only had nine at-bats all spring with UC Riverside, arrived seven games into the season and only sat out one game after his arrival. The rising sophomore recorded 19 multi-hit games and 14 multi-RBI games over his 48 games this summer. He was joined on the all-WCL first team by pitcher Eli Morgan, while Andrew Woods made the second team. Alex Guenette, Shawn Wardian, Kenny Rosenberg, Mitch Skaggs and Brandon Williams were named all-WCL honorable mention.

“Vince is very deserving of this award and this just shows that our fans are watching a quality product on a nightly basis at the ballpark,” said Pippins General Manager Danny Tetzlaff. “This is especially true for our season ticket holders who had the opportunity to enjoy watching Vince nightly. We hope that Vince is just the first of many players who will reward our fans with their outstanding play in seasons to come.”
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