Edward Salcedo was quite the signing for the Atlanta Braves out of the Dominican Republic last year. While there, Salcedo drew comparisons to Hanley Ramirez because of his potential power-speed combination. While he was signed as a shortstop, Salcedo has already made the move to third base because his size (currently 6’3”, 195 pounds) was going to push him out of short anyway.

While he still has to become a better defender, the Braves are seeing the offense that they were hoping for when they signed him. So far in 61 games, Salcdo is hitting .276 with seven homers, 10 doubles, 30 RBI, and 12 stolen bases.

Not too shabby for a 19-year-old in Single-A Rome, and it is making him our best “bat” prospect in the minor leagues, though I think the top position player prospect spot still goes to Matt Lipka.

One of the big improvements this year for Salcedo at the plate has simply been his approach. He’s been watching more pitches and waiting for good ones to hit. This usually comes with age though, so that’s not really a huge surprise, but a pleasant one nonetheless.

That approach has led to what is so far a .51 point increase in his average and has put him well over his homer total from a year ago (three). Salcedo is also posting an on-base percentage of .360 so far this season, which is very impressive for such a young player.

Potential-wise, Salcedo is the type of player that could fill in at third base in a few years and be there a long time. He’s got an impact bat, though his glove is suspect right now at best. I don’t know if he has the same type of potential or bat as Mike Moustakas, but I like his chances of being that type of prospect.

He should become a .280 hitter with 25-30 homers, 80-100 RBI, 30 doubles, 20 steals every season if he can reach his potential. We’ll just have to wait to see if he can get to that point.