From BR Bullpen
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4" , Weight 220 lb.
Jeff Kipila was the 2nd-round draft pick of the Oakland A's in 1986 in the January draft. A pitcher at the time, he did not sign. He then went to Elon College and moved to the outfield and subsequently was the 12th-round draft pick of the California Angels in the 1988 amateur draft. He was assigned to the team's Northwest League farm club. The main first baseman for the Bend Bucks, Kipila hit .206/~.321/.375 - he was drawing walks (40 in 59 games) and hitting with power (his 9 homers tied for third in the NWL and led the team) but needed to improve on his contact hitting. He was returned to the Bucks in 1989 and improved to .269/~.385/.508 - his 15 homers were second in the league to Dave Staton's 17. He also played 10 games that year for the Quad City Angels, going just 4 for 24 but with 5 walks and one homer. In the 1989-1990 Australian Baseball League, Kipila dazzled, hitting .384/.430/.608 for the Parramatta Patriots to finish second in the Australian Baseball League in average (behind David Clarkson, 60 points shy), slugging (trailing Randy Knorr), OBP (after Clarkson) and homers (7) while stealing 14 bases in 18 tries. He made the league All-Star team at third base.
In 1991 Kipila was back with Quad City. He was the top slugger on the squad, batting .274/~.366/.496 with 35 doubles and 18 homers. He paced the Midwest League in slugging and was 2 homers behind league leader Paul Russo and 3 doubles behind leader Rich Becker. He was named to the league's All-Star team at DH.
The burly slugger was 26 and basically a non-prospect, but had shown enough promise to earn a look at AA with the Midland Angels. Kipila hit almost a third of the club's homers when he hit .259/~.335/.477 with 21 long balls, though he fanned 104 times. He hit 7 more homers than Phillips, the team's #2 home run man. Kipila was third in the Texas League in homers (3 behind leader Billy Ashley) and fourth with 76 RBI. Kipila was named to the league's All-Star team as an outfielder alongside Ashley and Troy O'Leary.
In 1993 Kipila split the season between Midland and the AAA Vancouver Canadians. He batted .232/~.336/.453 for Midland and .313/~.404/.535 for Vancouver, but the Angels had Chili Davis at DH and Kipila did not get a big-league call-up.
At age 28 and in his 7th pro season, Kipila finished his career in 1994 for the Harrisburg Senators. He batted .257/~.348/.438 as a DH and part-time 1B. He had led one class A league in slugging and been a two-time All-Star. He had been his team's top power hitter on several occasions.