Elih Villanueva

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Elih Villanueva
Chinatrust Brothers – No. 30
Starting pitcher
Born: (1986-07-26) July 26, 1986 (age 32)
Coral Springs, Florida
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
June 15, 2011, for the Florida Marlins
MLB statistics
(through 2011)
Win–loss record0–1
Earned run average24.00
Career highlights and awards

Elih Christopher Villanueva (born, July 26, 1986) is a professional baseball pitcher for the Chinatrust Brothers of the Chinese Professional Baseball League. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Florida Marlins, whom drafted him in the 27th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft out of Florida State University.[1]

Amateur career[edit]

Villanueva was a 2004 graduate of Westminster Academy in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where he posted a 1.15 ERA to go along with a 10-3 record on his way to earning second team All-State honors as a senior.

With Florida International he compiled a 7-3 record in his freshman season. He was second on the team in innings pitched with 101 ​23 and 79 strikeouts in 2005.

Villanueva transferred to Miami-Dade Community College in 2006 where he was named the Florida Community College Activities Association Pitcher of the Year, the National Junior College Athletic Association second team All-American and first team All-State. He helped Miami Dade win the Southern Conference championship as he posted a 0.81 ERA striking out 109 batters in 89 innings of work.

He spent his Junior and Senior years at Florida State University.

Professional career[edit]

Florida/Miami Marlins[edit]

Villanueva made his professional debut and pitched at three Minor League levels in 2008. He started the season in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Marlins where he pitched four scoreless innings in his lone Gulf Coast League start on July 19 against the Gulf Coast League Cardinals. Villanueva made five appearances, one start, for the Short-Season Jamestown Jammers of the New York–Penn League. He allowed one run over six innings in his lone start with the Jammers on September 3. Opponents hit .205 (15-for-73) against him. Villanueva was promoted to Class-A and went 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in four games, two starts, for the Jupiter Hammerheads.

In 2009 Villanueva pitched for Class-A Advanced Jupiter and the Double-A Jacksonville Suns. With the Hammerheads he went 9-12 with a 3.47 ERA in 26 games, 25 starts. With the Suns he went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in two games, both of them starts. He helped the Suns to their fourth Southern League championship as a Marlins' affiliate. Villanueva threw five innings, allowing five hits, no walks, three runs, all earned, and striking out six to earn the win in the final game, however, this was not his main contribution. He hit a three-run go-ahead home run off of the Birmingham Barons pitcher, Andrew Cashner.[2][3]

In 2010 Villanueva was a key figure leading the Jacksonville Suns to a second straight Southern League championship.[4] He was second on the team with 14 wins and 115 strikeouts, and lead the team with four complete games, three shutouts, 179 innings pitched.[5] He was named as a Topps Double-A All-Star, Southern League Post-Season All-Star, Southern League Mid-Season All-Star, and Southern League pitcher of the week for 8/16/2010.

On June 15, 2011, Villanueva was called up to replace Osvaldo Martínez.[6] He made his Major League debut against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 15, 2011. He pitched three innings, giving up on eight runs, walking five and striking out two. His first major league strikeout was of Shane Victorino, earning the loss. He started the 2012 season and finished it with the New Orleans Zephyrs going 9-8-1 with a 3.90 ERA, a 1.45 WHIP, in 113 innings pitched with 44 walks, 83 strikeouts in 32 games played(16 starts). In 2013, he pitched at two levels: Rookie and Triple A. Combined, he threw 64 and a third innings, striking out 50 and walking 14. He had a 2.80 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, and a 4-3 record. For 2014, he has pitched in 11 games(all starts) and has a 5-2 record with a 2.48 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP, 39 strikeouts, and 13 walks in 61.2 innings.[7]

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

Villanueva was with the Baltimore Orioles organization in 2015 before taking 2016 off from baseball.

Lancaster Barnstormers/Boston Red Sox[edit]

After a brief period with the independent Lancaster Barnstormers, the Boston Red Sox purchased his contract on June 4, 2017. [8] He elected free agency on November 6, 2017.

Chinatrust Brothers[edit]

On March 30, 2018, Villanueva signed with the Chinatrust Brothers of the Chinese Professional Baseball League as a foreign backup pitcher. He will pitch for the club's farm team and can only be promoted if one of the other three foreign pitchers on the active roster is released.[9] On July 21, 2018, Villanueva was promoted to the Brothers following the release of pitcher Zack Segovia.[10] On September 28, 2018, Villanueva pitched a no-hitter against the Lamigo Monkeys, becoming the 9th player in the history of the league to accomplish the feat, and the second one that season.[11]


  1. ^ Elih Villanueva Heading to Marlins
  2. ^ Villanueva Leads Jacksonville to Title
  3. ^ Jacksonville Suns Win 2009 Southern League Championship
  4. ^ http://jacksonville.com/sports/baseball/2010-09-19/story/jacksonville-suns-repeat-southern-league-champions
  5. ^ http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ibp&cid=564&stn=true&sid=t564
  6. ^ Capozzi, Joe (2011-06-14). "Looks like Elih Villanueva will start tomorrow for the Florida Marlins". The Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
  7. ^ Frisaro, Joe (2011-06-15). "In twin-bill opener, Villanueva hit hard in debut". MLB.com. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
  8. ^ https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/06/minor-mlb-transactions-6417.html
  9. ^ "Chinatrust Brothers Sign Elih Villanueva as Fourth Backup Pitcher". March 31, 2018. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  10. ^ "Brothers Release Zack Segovia, Call up Elih Villanueva". cpblstats.com. July 21, 2018. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  11. ^ "Brothers' Elih Villanueva Throws No-Hitter Against Monkeys". cpblstats.com. September 28, 2018. Retrieved September 28, 2018.

External links[edit]