Salcedo Shows Power For Braves As He Refines Flaws





ATLANTA—General manager Frank Wren suggested in the spring of 2010 that the signing of Dominican shortstop Edward Salcedo was akin to receiving an extra first-round draft pick.

The Braves signed Salcedo for $1.6 million—still the highest bonus the organization has paid to an international player—though the results to date have been disappointing.

Regardless, the Braves remain patient with the 21-year-old.

"He's making progress in many areas of the game," farm director Ronnie Richardson said, "He's experienced some changes, including a change in position, and he's had to learn a new culture. And you have to remember he's still very young."

Salcedo switched from shortstop to third base while with low Class A Rome during the 2011 season—but he did so with mixed results. He wound up hitting .248/.315/.396 while displaying above-average raw power and solid speed on the bases.

A promotion to high Class A Lynchburg followed in 2012, and Salcedo struggled for long stretches, hitting .240/.295/.412 with 17 homers and 26 doubles in 471 at-bats. He hit just .215 with a .693 OPS in the second half.

The two biggest areas of concern center on Salcedo's plate discipline and his defense.

He has hit just .244 over the course of the past two seasons, a byproduct of striking out in 22 percent of his trips to the plate.

Salcedo committed 42 errors this season after making 47 in 2011, with many miscues coming on mental mistakes. His hands are not soft, and he tends to rush throws instead of trusting his above-average arm.

"To me he has left field written all over him," a pro scout with a National League club said. "He's not fluid on the dirt, his hands don't work that well, and his decision-making can be questionable."

The Braves believe Salcedo will make rapid progress once he experiences an extended run of success, something they hope might take place in the Arizona Fall League.

WIGWAM WISPS

• Shortstop Nick Ahmed got off to a hot start with Phoenix of the Arizona Fall League, going 6-for-13 (.462) with a double, a triple and four RBIs.

• The Braves want 2008 second-round righty Zeke Spruill to continue honing his command and improving his secondary offerings while pitching in the AFL.