When the Braves signed Edward Salcedo for over $1 million in the spring of 2010, you knew the young kid was going to face a lot of pressure as a high-priced international player.
Last year, Salcedo had a rocky start. He hit .197 in Rome in 54 games, with two home runs and 16 RBI. It was obvious the Braves rushed the (listed) soon-to-be 20-year-old Salcedo.
He returned to the South Atlantic League this season, and so far the results have been promising. Salcedo is hitting .275 in 71 games, which is pretty much near the halfway point in the season. He has nine home runs and 35 RBI, with a .348 on base percentage and 12 stolen bases.
That puts Salcedo on pace for 18 home runs, 70 RBI and 24 stolen bases. If he does that, Salcedo will be recognized as a top prospect in the Atlanta organization.
He is getting better with more playing time in Rome. Salcedo was 5-for-5 on Monday night with two solo home runs. He's now hitting .291 in June with four home runs and 13 RBI.
Against left-handed pitchers, Salcedo is hitting .389 with a .441 on base percentage in 54 at bats. He's had most of his at bats as the third place hitter in the Rome lineup.
Salcedo's defense, long his Achilles' Heel, is showing some signs of improvement also. He had eight errors in April, then 13 in May. But in June, as he has exclusively played third base, Salcedo has only five errors this month. He has not played shortstop since May 28.
Salcedo has made 24 errors in 49 games at third base. He made four errors on May 25 and then one error on May 27. So in the last 22 games at third base, he has five errors. At shortstop, Salcedo has seven errors in 18 games.
With the Braves possibly needing a future long-term third baseman, Salcedo is now clearly on the radar.
Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on
WPLA Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, GA and WCOH Fox Sports 1400 in Newnan, GA. Shanks is a columnist for The Macon Telegraph. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/billshanks.