Hops return 9
The Hillsboro Hops will start the Northwest League baseball season on Thursday with nine returning players.
Hillsboro opens at Everett. The home opener at Ron Tonkin Field is Tuesday, June 20, at 7 p.m., against Salem-Keizer.
The Hops are seeking to make the NWL playoffs for the fourth year in a row. They won the league title in 2014 and 2015 and lost to eventual champion Eugene in the 2016 postseason.
The 2017 Hops roster for Opening Day includes 2015 NWL Pitcher of the Year (as a Hop) Carlos Hernandez, who is on injury rehab, and one member of the parent Arizona Diamondbacks' 40-man roster, infielder Domingo Leyba, also on assignment as he returns from a shoulder injury suffered while diving for a ball in early April.
Newcomers to Hillsboro include right-hander Jhoan Duran, 19, the youngest player on the initial, 23-player Hops roster. He has been rated as the D-backs' No. 22 prospect.
Additions to the Hops are expected after the conclusion of the MLB draft on Wednesday.