Prospect Countdown #68 : Erick Salcedo

Top 100 Los Angeles Angels' Prospects Countdown, #68 : Shortstop, Erick Salcedo (photo : Travis Berg)

Erick Salcedo, Shortstop

HT : 5'10
WT : 155
DOB : June 28, 1993 (22), in Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela
Throws : Right
Bats : Switch
School : N/A
Acquired : Signed by Lebi Ochoa as International Free Agent, April 14, 2010
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked


Every farm system has certain players who possess a special tool, that could launch them towards the top. Defensive shortstops are a dime a dozen, but incredibly good defensive shortstops that are found in their early 20's are very challenging to find. Erick Salcedo could be one of those special players in the lurks of the Los Angeles Angels farm system.


SCOUTING REPORT:

Salcedo's glove is his meal ticket, flashing head turning abilities on defense. He is very slick at shortstop, along with all positions in the infield. He has outstanding footwork, and a quick burst off his first step, allowing him to range to both sides with ease.

With his footwork, Salcedo has become a standout taking away the middle of the infield, ranging to his left. Salcedo also comes equipped with a strong and accurate arm. If you see Salcedo make a mistake in the field, hold tight to it, because it may be the only one you see.

"He plays with flare, has plus range and showed the abilities to make plays at shortstop and third base," said a former coach of Salcedo's.

Salcedo's bat is nowhere near his defensive skills, which is hard to match. He makes consistent contact, not striking out often, but has very limited power. He's a switch hitter who tends to fair better from the left-side, and has shown the abilities to lay down a bunt when needed.

Salcedo has some slap to his swing, which keeps him as a threat in hit and run situations. He has an up the middle to opposite field approach, rarely pulling the ball, and can take a walk when needed.

Salcedo has adequate speed, and has used this to become a better base runner and base stealer. This may be where he's seen the most dramatic improvements since becoming a professional.

Salcedo is young, and has plenty of room to grow in his physique. He is very lean, and will need to grow physically, adding muscle, to gain both arm strength and any substance of power he may tap into at the plate.

VIDEO : AguiluchoXSiempre

Scouting Report from Jerry Espinoza - Scouting Analyst/Photographer for Scout.com


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Upon signing, Salcedo went to the DSL as a 17-year-old, and hit .226 with a .649 OPS in limited at bats (62). He did collect three doubles and two triples, while scoring 14 runs. He did close out the season on a strong note, hitting .417 with two triples and a 1.106 OPS over his final seven games. Both triples, and a double, came in his final three games, where he went 7-for-11.

Salcedo had an injury hold up development in his second professional season, but he did see time in 38 games, where he hit .241, and reached base 39.6% of his plate appearances. Salcedo's best stretch came in his return from the injury, where he hit .333 with a .789 OPS in a 10-game stretch.

There was a small slump in Salcedo's last season in the Dominican, as he hit .230/.362/.269 in a full season. Salcedo saw just one strong point over the season, where he went 11-for-23 with five walks and three sac hits in an eight game stretch in late July of 2012.

Salcedo thrived in his first season stateside, batting .270/.325/.365 with eight doubles and 22 RBI in the AZL. Salcedo stole 10 bags that year with 27 runs scored. Salcedo collected three or more hits in seven of 22 games from mid July to mid August, picking up seven of his eight doubles and hit .300 over the 22-game stretch.

The shortstop prospect leapt from rookie ball to Single-A in 2014, and struggled slightly, hitting just .239 with a .560 OPS. Salcedo was just 21-years-old that season against older and more challenging talent, and saw a bright spot in June, where he reached in 18 straight games, holding a .438 OBP and .903 OPS.

Salcedo gained his frequent flyer miles, moving between four separate affiliates this past season, all the way from Low-A to Triple-A, playing at least a few games at each affiliate in between. He was primarily filling in for injuries, and made the best of his opportunities, batting .232/.281/.254 in 95 games. Salcedo finished his year playing in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he hit .232/.264/.256 over 25 games.

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EXPECTED FUTURE:

There's a lot of tools to desire with Salcedo, but his glove can't be the only thing carrying him through the minors. There's a high load of adjustments he'll need to make, particularly at the plate. He should be able to see some offensive boost in the Cal League, where he could also gain some confidence, so it should be expected that joins Inland Empire in 2016.

If Salcedo pieces it all together, he could be a nice defensive substitute at the upper levels of the minors. However, there's so much work left to do, it's far too early to project any Major League time for the young shortstop. He does have time on his side though, being only 22-years-old.



For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout. Keep up with our countdown on Twitter with the hashtag, #LAATop100Prospects.

This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.



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