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Atlanta Braves Top 30 Prospects: No. 5, Edward Salcedo

5. Edward Salcedo, SS
B/T: R/R 2011 Age: 19 Ht: 6'3" Wt: 195
2010: (DSL)
95 PA, .297/.453/.432, 5 2B, 3B, HR, 11 RBI, 8 SB, 18 BB, 19 K
(A-) 209 PA, .197/.239/.295, 5 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 6 SB, 11 BB, 56 K

The Braves signed Edward Salcedo to a $1.6 million deal prior to the 2010 season, considered by many to be equivalent of their first round pick since they didn't have one. Salcedo didn't do much to impress in his stateside debut, but his raw tools alone give him a top five ranking.

Salcedo did well in the Dominican Summer League, recording a .453 OBP in a short stint. He was aggressively promoted to A- Rome for the rest of the season, where he struggled mightily. He wasn't able to keep his average above .200, and he had just 11 walks in 209 plate appearances. Salcedo struggled with basic stuff in the box, not laying off high fastballs and struggling with low breaking pitches. He showed brief signs of recognizing pitches late in the season, but it's apparent that his promotion was a bit too soon.

Salcedo is huge for 18 years old. He's tall with broad shoulders and strong forearms and wrists. Just one look at him and you know he projects to have major power down the road. As of right now, his swing doesn't play for it, as he seems more worried with avoiding strikeouts and seeing pitches than driving the ball, causing more hands than full body. But Salcedo has a solid loading position and will use his body well once he gets used to the pitching.

Defensively, Salcedo will have to change positions due to his size and limited range. He has a good glove and arm, though his throwing motion is longer than you'd like to see. Third base is his most likely position, but first base or left field are also options. I would expect the switch by the time he reaches AA.

Salcedo projects to have monstrous power as he progresses. As shown by his swing and DSL success, he is capable of maintaining a good average and getting on base at a good clip, but it will never be his strength. His power potential and size give him this ranking. While some aren't as high on him due to his struggles at Rome, it's impossible to ignore what he is capable of. Look for some of that to emerge in his second stint at Rome.

Three Things to Look For in 2011: 1) Eye 2) Power 3) Less Hands, More Leverage
Destination in 2011: All at A-
ETA: 2015
Ceiling: 30-Homer Third Baseman With .350 OBP
My Prediction: 30-Homer Third Baseman With .330 OBP, High Strikeouts

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.