December 18, 2010 at 11:54 am by Kevin Orris under Atlanta Braves, Player Analysis, Prospects
Note: I’m very pleased to announce that Kevin Orris is going to be contributing to CAC regularly. You can read more about Kevin at the bottom of this page and see some of his other work at Baseball Insiders. It’s great to have another writer on board, especially one as well qualified as Kevin. Enjoy.
When I first agreed to write for CAC, I couldn’t decide what topics to cover. After debating a review of the Andy Marte trade of 2005 and Kris Medlen’s rehab, I decided that I shall write about what I know best… prospects.
For those who don’t know me or haven’t read my previous work, I love writing about the future. That being said, Baseball America revealed their “Top 10 Atlanta Braves Prospects” this week, and I can’t help but react.
As you may remember, Peter released his list of the Braves top prospects earlier this off-season, and it’s fairly similar to BA’s.
I think most would agree that Julio Teheran, Freddie Freeman, and Randall Delgado are the top three guys in the system, with Teheran also falling in the top five across baseball. However, after the trio, there are a handful of debatable arms to decide between, in addition to a couple of middle infielders.
The biggest difference between the two rankings is Edward Salcedo (4th on CAC, NR on BA), a SS/3B whom the Braves signed from the Dominican Republic earlier this year. Salcedo hit just .225 this season, striking out 75 times in 304 at-bats, while adding 14 stolen bases.
As you can see in this video, Salcedo has a very long swing, which he often over-exerts and his pitch selection isn’t the best. Although this is a small sample size, this video tells us a lot about the issues that he’s endured. He get fooled easily when faced with breaking balls low and away, often swinging and following through so far that he spins around.
I’d like to believe that he qualified for BA’s top 15 prospects, because he is built for his age and is expected to improve tremendously in 2011 in his first full season in the United States. It’s important to keep in mind that he’s only 19-years-old and will become increasingly stronger as most International signees do.
While he played all but one game at shortstop this year, I’d like to believe that he’s going to move to third base in the future. Although he has speed, with an increase in size, his range will become limited and he has an above average arm that will allow him to play the hot corner.
Personally, I’d like to see him make an attempt at playing third base this year, especially if Salcedo and Matthew Lipka, the Braves first round pick from 2010, end up on the same roster.
2011 is going to be important for Salcedo if he wants to remain a top prospect, because another year below the “Mendoza line” isn’t going to cut it in Rome. Expect him to begin the season in Rome and if he does experience success, a potential promotion to Myrtle Beach.
Overall, BA’s list speaks volumes about the Braves knack for finding and developing pitching considering they project the 2014 rotation to be Tommy Hanson, Teheran, Delgado, Mike Minor, and Jair Jurrjens, with Craig Kimbrel closing out games. Teheran is as close to a sure thing as you can get with a pitching prospect, while some still have their doubts with Delgado, but that’s a topic for another day.
With all of that being said, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Salcedo and the Baseball America list. Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot me an e-mail at KevinOrris@CapitolAvenueClub.com.