Edward Salcedo Scouting Report (2010)
For the past couple of years, Edward Salcedo was rumored to be an elaborate internet hoax. With only a single video of Salcedo taking batting practice on YouTube and a scant few photographs, his not signing as a 16-year old led to even more questions. Earlier this year, Salcedo finally emerged from the shadows signing with the Atlanta Braves for a 1.6 million dollar bonus. Scouts were frothing at the mouth over his combination of size and athleticism. Salcedo was one of the players I was most excited about seeing and the raw tools did not disappoint.
Physical Projection: A menacing presence, Salcedo looked every bit his listed height of 6’3″. 195 lbs. seemed 20-25 pounds light as Salcedo was muscular and well-proportioned. His physical appearance reminds me quite a bit of current Brave Jason Heyward. Salcedo may even be a bit bigger at the same age. To see how Heyward has blossomed physically may wind up being the blueprint for how Salcedo develops going forward. He’s currently an average athlete with fluid movements for his size. With the possibility of Salcedo becoming a monster, he may slow down considerably with age.
Hitting: Extremely raw, Salcedo had quite a bit of difficulty handling pitchers throwing “book”. Fastballs up, followed by breaking balls down-and-away gave him fits leading to a handful of downright ugly strikeouts. To counter this, Salcedo seemed content trying to hammer the first fastball thrown to him which worked with mixed results. Salcedo also showed glimpses of pitch recognition as he was able to fight off a few tough breaking pitches for foul balls. When he made barrel contact, the ball exploded off of his bat like few hitters I’ve seen. With that explosion comes plenty of swing-and-miss which is a common trade off for Latin American players Salcedo’s age.
Salcedo’s swing mechanics are very good compared to most young international prospects. He’s quiet in his stance and loads to a strong power position. From his load, his first movement is to collapse his back leg just a touch which causes his front elbow to fly open creating a relatively weak swing for a young hitter with strong wrists and very good bat speed. Fortunately for Salcedo, it’s a relatively small fix mechanically and the needed tweaks should lead to huge dividends.
Defense: Just to be clear, Salcedo is definitely not a shortstop long term and will likely shift to a corner in the near future. While his defensive limits were not tested his glove was shaky on routine ground balls and his lateral range was limited. His armed appeared to be solid average, but his longer arm action led to a longer than ideal release. I’d imagine the Braves will slide him over to third base, but left field or first base may wind up being his permanent home.
Without plenty of impact arms, but few projectable bats in the system, Salcedo provides the Braves a much needed infusion of impact positional talent. Behind Freddie Freeman, Salcedo is the best offensive player in the system and could become an impact bat if things break correctly. Of course his raw ability is not without significant risk as his pitch recognition and contact skills lag behind his raw tools. However, if watching elite international talents like Julio Teheran and Wilmer Flores have taught me one thing, it’s that big tools can play big very quickly.
24 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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