published Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Chattanooga Lookouts have seven all-stars

Chattanooga Lookouts manager Jody Reed (3) talks with Joc Pederson (29).
Chattanooga Lookouts manager Jody Reed (3) talks with Joc Pederson (29).
Photo by Tim Barber.

The Chattanooga Lookouts finished second in the Southern League's North Division for the first half of the season.

They were second to no one in all-star selections.

Touted pitcher Zach Lee and promising outfielder Joc Pederson were among Chattanooga's seven players named Tuesday to the North roster for the league's annual all-star game, which will be held July 17 in Jacksonville. The seven picks topped the six by Birmingham, which ran away with the first-half title, and third-place finisher Tennessee.

Huntsville and Jackson each had three representatives.

"I was pleased, and I think everyone who was on there was deserving," Lookouts manager Jody Reed said.

Players were selected by a vote of league managers, general managers, print media and radio broadcasters, and all players on league rosters on June 12 were eligible. The Lookouts had an eighth potential pick, Rob Rasmussen, but the starting pitcher has since been called up to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Pederson, rated before the season by Baseball America as the No. 4 prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, entered Tuesday night's game in Huntsville hitting .300 with 13 home runs and 37 RBIs. The 21-year-old was leading the league with 151 total bases and ranked second with 25 stolen bases.

The only other Lookouts position player tabbed was second baseman Rafael Ynoa, who entered Tuesday hitting .263 with four homers and 25 RBIs.

Joining Lee as Chattanooga's pitching representatives were fellow starter Ross Stripling and relievers Yimi Garcia, Hector Nelo and Luis Vazquez. Lee, the No. 5 organizational prospect, has made 16 starts this season and is 6-5 with a 2.95 earned run average, and he has 80 strikeouts in 88 innings.

Stripling has made eight starts and is 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA. He has 47 strikeouts in 50 innings.

The improvement of Chattanooga's bullpen throughout the season's first three months was reflected in the selections of Garcia (2-4, 3.13), Nelo (5-1, 2.27) and Vazquez (3-3, 2.63). Garcia entered Tuesday having racked up 48 strikeouts in 37 innings, while Vazquez had compiled 32 in 24.

"Everybody who was following us saw that things were pretty tough in April and that first week in May," Reed said. "Those guys have worked extremely hard and were a big part in us climbing back to .500."

Chattanooga's most notable omission was outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez, who entered Tuesday hitting .294 with six homers and 28 RBIs. Cavazos-Galvez did not start every day, however, until the June 2 departure of Yasiel Puig to Los Angeles.

"Brian's had a super six weeks, but he's kind of like Puig in the big leagues right now," Reed said. "Puig is tearing it up, but is he deserving because has it been long enough? At the Double-A level, Brian is in the same boat."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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