Two Locals, Another Washingtonian Join Pippins

East Valley's Edler, West Valley's Johnson added to roster

YAKIMA, Washington — Keegan Edler and Drew Johnson, a pair of homegrown standouts, and another Washingtonian are the latest additions to the Pippins’ 2024 roster.

The Yakima Valley Pippins have signed three more local products, including two players from Yakima, Washington. Utility player Drew Johnson and pitchers Logan Smith and Keegan Edler will make their Pippins debuts this summer.

Edler, a pitcher from East Valley, grew up in Yakima and is on the Spokane Falls Community College baseball roster. He reminisced about some prior fun he had with the Pippins organization as a kid.

“I’ve been to plenty of Pippins games. I was the bat boy for one of them a long time ago,” Edler said about his background with the team.

The 6-foot-4 hurler is in his first season of college baseball. He is excited to be able to finally put on the uniforms and play on the field that he grew up watching games.

“It’s super exciting. I can’t wait to go back and actually play on the field, after watching all the guys out there for so many years. It’s going to be cool,” the young pitcher said.

Edler will join a group of young arms joining the roster this season and has a lot of things he is looking to improve on. He is mainly trying to gain some better command and control of the strike zone during the innings he gets on the mound this year.

Johnson, a utility player from West Valley, also has memories of his hometown summer ball squad from when he was a kid.

“I remember going to games. My favorite treat there was this lemonade ice cream thing. I loved getting those as a kid, and just watching some guys play baseball. As a kid I always thought they were really good athletes, so I’m super excited to join the team,” Johnson said.

Johnson is currently in his sophomore season with the Tacoma Titans in college baseball. He also has prior experience in the West Coast League, but with a different organization.

“Last year I was a (Springfield) Drifter, so I played (the Pippins) a couple times. It was just always fun to play them,” Johnson said.

In those five games against Yakima Valley, Johnson went 4-for-19 at the plate but scored twice. Overall, he batted .254 and put together 18 hits and 12 RBIs. His offensive production will be on display at The Orchard this season in front of friends and family.

“I know my family is super invested and they want to watch me play all the time, so they’re super excited to just be able to go drive 15 minutes to the park and see me play,” the former NWAC West Region second-teamer said.

Logan Smith is a college teammate with Johnson at Tacoma. He hails from Sammamish, Washington, and he is a redshirt freshman this season.

The 6-foot-2, 230 pounder last pitched against Bellevue and dealt three strikeouts and just one hit in two innings of work. He currently has a 3.18 ERA in two appearances on the mound for the Titans.

The Yakima Valley Pippins begin their 10th anniversary season on May 31 at home against the Drifters. Special opening-weekend ticket deals will go on sale later this week.

By Jake Schrantz

March 11, 2024