YAKIMA, Wash. – Dylan Villalobos, who pitched briefly with Yakima Valley last summer, is the fifth announced pitcher who will return to the Pippins in 2018.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound freshman from La Habra, Calif., who attends Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, pitched only 3 2/3 innings in three games for Yakima Valley in 2017 because of an arm injury. He struck out four and walked five, allowing three hits and one earned run in that stretch.
But manager Marcus McKimmy believes Villalobos’ potential earned him a return trip to Yakima next season.
“We’re very excited to have Dylan come back,” McKimmy said. “His progression back from injury this fall has been really positive. Unfortunatley, our fans didn’t get to see him much last summer, but when he pitched he was really good, and he’s shown even greater glimpses of that this fall.”
Villalobos joins Cal Poly teammates Taylor Dollard and William Adair in a return to Yakima next June. In all, at least five pitchers are coming back from 2017 – the most ever.
“The pitchers we have coming back not only have a comfort level with our fans and stadium and the mound, but also with our pitching philosophy,” McKimmy said. “A couple of our returning pitchers really just scratched the surface of what we were trying to do with them developmentally. The fact that they’ve accepted a position back with the Pippins shows they’re motivated and they’re excited to put on the uniform again.”
Pitchers Cullen Kafka (Oregon) and WCL All-Star Connor White (Portland) also will return for Yakima. Returning position players include outfielder Michael Russo (2017) and catcher Chris Ceballos (2016).
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, at the Pippins’ holiday kiosk in the Valley Mall, by calling 509-575-4487 or online at pippinsbaseball.com. Ticket vouchers, mini plans, group night outings and prepaid parking passes are also available for purchase. Opening night tickets go on sale Dec. 1.