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July 2012 Prospect Profile: Scranton's All-Star

07/20/2012 9:51 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Juan Cedeno went from non-roster spring invitee to Triple-A All-Star.(AP)
Despite a 48-43 first-half record that left them just a few games out of first place in their division, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees’ All-Star experience was limited to 14 pitches.

Those were thrown by lefty Juan Cedeno, who was Scranton’s lone representative on the International League squad that dropped a 3-0 decision to the Pacific Coast League All-Stars in July 11th’s Triple-A All-Star Game.

Cedeno, 28, was a non-roster invitee to Yankees Spring Training this year, and earned the All-Star nod in just his first year above Double-A ball. In fact, 2012 is his first year in affiliated American baseball since 2008, as he as he pitched in Korea in 2009 and sat out 2010 before spending 2011 with Rio Grande Valley of the independent North American Baseball League.

He proved to be a worthy selection when he took the mound at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo on July 11, striking out Round Rock’s Joey Butler before getting Salt Lake’s Kole Calhoun and Las Vegas’ Adeiny Hechavarria to each ground out to second to complete the perfect inning.

Cedeno may have been Scranton’s lone All-Star, but he was joined in the game by a handful of men with Bombers legacy; the IL team also included catcher Dioner Navarro (now with Louisville in the Reds organization) and outfielder Greg Golson (who represented the White Sox’ top farm club in Charlotte), while the PCL squad included pitchers Eric Hacker (Fresno/San Francisco) and Jonathan Albaladejo (Reno/Arizona) and third baseman Jimmy Paredes (Oklahoma City/Houston).

Still, thanks to the July 11 loss, Scranton (or whoever wins the IL Championship) will be the “away” team for September 18’s PCL vs. IL Triple-A National Championship Game in Durham, N.C.

If the Yankees get there, Cedeno will likely have a lot to do with that; the lefty was 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA, three saves, and 40 strikeouts in 41 2/3 IP (35 appearances) in the first half, and he is set to once again be a key piece of the relief puzzle for Scranton in the second half.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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