Carlos Salazar: Prospect Profile for Atlanta Braves 3rd Round Pick

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Carlos Salazar: Prospect Profile for Atlanta Braves 3rd Round Pick
Image courtesy of Kerman HS

Player: Carlos Salazar

Drafted by: Atlanta Braves (No. 102 overall)

Position: RHP

DOB: 11/23/1994 (Age: 18)

Height/Weight: 6'2", 205 lbs

Bats/Throws: R/R

School: Kerman HS (Kerman, CA)

College Commitment: Fresno State

 

Background

One of the hardest throwers in this draft class, Salazar has a long way to go before realizing his potential as a top-of-the-rotation starter. But there is plenty of time for a team to work with him and harness those skills. 

The good news is there is already a lot to work with. Salazar can really bring the heat and has one of the better breaking balls you will see from a high schooler. He is committed to Fresno State and could be a tough player to sign. 

Full Scouting Report

Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.

Body/Mechanics:

Already filled out physically at 6'2", 205 pounds; lack of physical projection doesn't lower ceiling; very solid build; excellent arm strength; tends to fly open, leading to a lot of pitches sailing high or inside to right-handed hitters; good movement toward the plate. 

Courtesy of MLB.com

Fastball: 60/65

Consistent plus velocity already; pitch is a little too straight, but ball explodes out of his hand because he has such a good stride to the plate; struggles to throw heater for strikes consistently; might be able to hit plus-plus velocity with improved mechanics. 

Curveball: 35/45

Still learning to throw curveball; doesn't have good feel or release point for pitch at present; has to use it more in pro ball for it to become any sort of weapon; could scrap it and still feature a three-pitch mix. 

Changeup: 45/55

Solid-average potential; control problems prevent pitch from average projection right now; has good arm speed on delivery; some feel for it but doesn't seem to have a lot of trust in it; can be straight, though has enough separation from fastball to keep hitters off balance. 

Slider: 40/60

Slider flashes plus already but doesn't stay consistent; can get a little slurvy at times and much easier to hit; will drop down on release, preventing him from staying on top of the pitch; given that he will show a very good slider, easy to see well-above-average pitch in the future. 

Control: 40/55

Throwing strikes remains big obstacle; despite electric arm speed and deception, delivery is problematic and will lead to all of his pitches sailing; if he can stay around the strike zone, should be able to miss a lot of bats with power stuff. 

Command: 35/50

Doesn't hit the glove with much regularity; can flash solid-average command, but it isn't at a level it needs to be for a first-round pick; should eventually get more comfortable pitching, instead of just throwing. 

MLB Player Comparison: Yovani Gallardo

 

Projection: No. 2 starter on first-division team if everything clicks. 

 

MLB ETA: 2018

 

Chances of Signing: 60%

Given how raw Salazar is, it is unlikely that teams will feel comfortable investing a big signing bonus in him, like the kind you would see from a first-round pick. But there is enough upside to make him a strong six-figure deal to steal him away from Fresno State. 

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