Well I have finally gotten around to starting my in-depth top ten prospects list, and first up (or tenth) is Edward Salcedo.
Salcedo is arguably one of Atlanta’s most talented prospects. Scouts have talked about his skills and tools constantly and while, they did show up at the beginning of his 2011 season (.268/.346/.420), they haven’t really come to stay. The biggest thing we need to realize when evaluating Salcedo is that he is only 20 years old and was signed two years after most other big time international free agents. That combined with the fact that Atlanta really rushed him early on in his professional career is enough for me to look past his numbers and focus more on his ‘tools’. You might be tired of hearing about toolsy Atlanta prospects but Salcedo is different. One scout said that he is the only potential middle of the order bat in the system. He has good bat speed but needs to shorten up his swing, which has been pretty long thus far.
the rest after the break…
Salcedo has shown great patience at the plate at times (18.9 BB%) but when he got promoted and began feeling challenged he started to swing at a lot of bad pitches and his walk rate plummeted (5.3 BB%). One of his biggest weaknesses at the plate is picking up breaking balls. He tends to cheat on pitches, and this leaves him extremely vulnerable to off speed pitches on the outside part of the plate. One of his main goals next year needs to be pitch recognition, and simply waiting on the ball. This will help him lower his extremely high K rates (25.7% in rookie ball, 29.0% in A ball) and also hit for the power he is capable of.
At this point in time Salcedo is a third baseman. If he doesn’t make any more progress defensively a move to the outfield is likely but the more time he has gotten at the hot corner the better he has become. He won’t ever be a great defensive third baseman but if he continues to improve he will be able to hold his own at the position in the majors.
There is not much to say about Salcedo as far as speed goes. He runs well, but likely won’t steal more than ten bases in any given year in the bigs and probably a lot less than that as he continues to add weight and bulk up.
The bottom line with Salcedo is that he is extremely raw. He needs to be pushed along slowly, and I think the Braves management understands that now. More experience against quality pitchers with good breaking balls, and a full year at third will do wonders for his development. He has the talent to be a great major league hitter, he just needs to refine his game.
In A Perfect World- Edward Salcedo becomes the Braves future third baseman and a middle of the line-up hitter. People can finally stop worrying about who will take over for Chipper, as Salcedo is one of the better offensive third baseman in the game.
According to the Mayans- Salcedo will never make the adjustment to hitting at the professional level. He continues to strike out at an alarming rate, and his power disappears because he keeps getting out in front of the ball. In the field he takes steps backwards and has to move to a corner outfield position where his bat profiles much worse.