YAKIMA, Wash. – Conner White, a right-handed pitcher who earned All-Star and All-West Coast League recognition in 2017, will return to the Yakima Valley Pippins in 2018.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound University of Portland junior pitcher from Woodinville, Wash., led the WCL with 11 saves during the regular season. In 22 appearances, White struck out 32 and walked 14 in 24 innings pitched, allowing just 14 hits and compiling a 1.13 ERA.
“His leadership and his ability to be a great teammate really stand out,” said Marcus McKimmy, who will return as Pippins field manager again next summer. “From Day 1 to the end of the season, his ability to throw strikes and to develop his breaking pitch allowed him to be the lock-down guy for us.
“Connor’s future is really undetermined as far as how good he can be, and that’s where the Pippins come in,” McKimmy continued. “Another year of development, another year of maturity will really benefit him.”
In addition to earning first-team All-WCL honors by league coaches after the 2017 season, White was selected as a league All-Star and was the starting pitcher for the South team in the 2017 All-Star Game hosted by the Pippins at Yakima County Stadium.
White allowed only six runs – including four earned – in his 22 regular-season appearances. He didn’t allow any runs in the regular season after a July 1 appearance in Kelowna, a stretch that spanned 12 appearances and 14 innings in which he gave up only six hits and struck out 19.
“Connor was someone we used in multiple roles, and that’s something that fans may forget,” McKimmy said. “We signed him as a two-way player, and he caught for us early. He was an everyday catcher at Columbia Basin and was their closer. We asked him to make pitching a priority, we felt that was going to help our ballclub the best given our roster dynamic.”
White is the first Pippins player to be announced for the 2018 season.
The Pippins’ fifth anniversary season in Yakima begins in June 2018. 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, by calling 509-575-4487 or online at pippinsbaseball.com. The Pippins’ 2018 schedule will be announced in late October, with mini-plans and other ticketing options available at that time.