Scouting Video: C Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Presented with two Supplemental First Round draft picks, the Atlanta Braves chose to use the latter of the two in an attempt to fortify the one organizational weakness – the position of catcher. Their pick? <B>Jarrod Saltalamacchia</B> who enjoyed a solid GCL season (.382 OBP, .778 OPS) and who is also the feature of our latest Scouting Video.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia Scouting Video (Premium)

Scouting Report

Presented with two Supplemental First Round draft picks, the Atlanta Braves chose to use the latter of the two in an attempt to fortify the one organizational weakness – the position of catcher. In retrospect, there seems to be no dearth of present or future catchers thanks to excellent 2003 performances by Javier Lopez, Johnny Estrada, Brayan Pena, and Brian McCann, but at the time it was an area that needed to be addressed. The answer to this problem for the Atlanta front office was an athletic, switch-hitting high school catcher who had shown he was quite a hitter in his amateur career.

Courted by Florida State University during his senior year, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit 0.430 and played excellent defense at Royal Palm Beach High, not to mention hitting four home runs and driving in twenty-one runs. That effort was enough to earn the Floridian a first round selection in the June draft and lure him away from a potential collegiate career. Listed as the #2 catcher in the nation by Baseball America before the draft, he was #1 to the Braves, who worked out a pre-draft deal and signed the 6-4, 195-pounder almost immediately. From game one of the GCL season, Jarrod was penciled in as the Braves third-place hitter. But, he struggled early and would not stay there long. As the climate warmed, so did Saltalamacchia, and although his final 0.239 batting average looks unimpressive, there is plenty about the young catcher's season to get very excited about. Despite a very low batting average, Saltalamacchia posted close to an 0.800 OPS (at 0.778) and sported a very good 0.382 on-base percentage. This amounted to a pulchritudinous 0.143 isolated on-base percentage, which was a factor of his excellent walk-to-strikeout (0.85) and at-bat-per-walk (4.79) ratios. This superb display of plate discipline, especially in conjunction with very good power numbers – Jarrod was tied for second on the team in doubles with 11 – forecast an very bright future for the 18-year old catcher and make him one of the most exciting hitters in the minor league section of the organization.

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