The New York Yankees have one of the best farm systems in all of baseball, if not the best. With that comes a lot of top-level talent that becomes household names in the fan base. But aside from the big names the fans already know there are several players throughout the system that they should also keep an eye on in 2017.
Signed as a minor league free agent in May of 2012 Luis Cedeno recently completed his fifth season in the organization. Shortly after signing his first professional contract he was assigned to the Dominican Summer League Yankees where he went 1-0 in eight games out of the bullpen, striking out ten batters in 9 1/3 innings.
The following season, in 2013, Cedeno only appeared in 5 games, throwing 17 innings and allowing just one earned run. He earned a win in each of the five games he appeared.
Cedeno made his United States debut in 2014 when he played for the Gulf Coast League Yankees. With the GCL Yankees, he made his first professional starts, starting 6 out of the 15 games he appeared in. During those games he earned a 1.13 ERA in 40 innings of work, walking just six batters while striking out 35.
The 2015 season saw Luis start out in Extended Spring Training but on April 2 he made his season debut after being called up to the Charleston RiverDogs. In his first game with Charleston, he threw five no-hit innings, allowing two walks and striking out four batters. He went on to appear in 8 more games, earning a 3.52 ERA in 9 total games, all starts, striking out 28 batters in 46 innings of work.
When the Staten Island Yankees season began in June, he was reassigned to the New York-Penn League where he went 5-3 with a 2.73 ERA over 13 games, 12 starts and striking out 51 batters in 66 innings of work. His success with Staten Island earned him a spot in the NY-Penn League All-Star Game.
Cedeno spent the 2016 season with the RiverDogs, making 20 starts, throwing 107 2/3 innings and earning a 3.68 ERA. He earned pitcher of the week honors on July 31, 2016. During the playoffs, he made his High-A debut allowing three runs on six hits and two walks in 5 innings of work for the Tampa Yankees.
This offseason the 22-year old right-hander is pitching for Caribes de Anzoategui of the Venezuelan Winter League. In 2 appearances, out of the bullpen he has thrown 4 2/3 innings allowing two runs on five hits and striking out four batters.
Cedeno is undersized at 5-foot 11-inches and 154 pounds but has a fastball that sits in the low-90s and can bring it up to the mid-90’s at times. He has proven to be a strike thrower, showcasing strong command of his fastball and improving his curveball and changeup. On the mound, he has an aggressive approach, going after hitters to get the out.