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Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Boston Red Sox)
.158, 2 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB
As the 36th overall pick of the 2003 amateur draft taken by the Atlanta Braves, Saltalamacchia was a highly touted switch-hitting prospect that ranked as high as 18th on Baseball America’s prospect list.
After it became clear that Brian McCann would be the Braves’ franchise catcher for years to come, the club traded “Salty” and a handful of prospects (including Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus) to the Rangers for Mark Teixeira.
Injuries plagued Salty for most of his time with the Rangers, and the team finally gave up on him at the end of 2010 by trading him to the Red Sox for a few minor-league players.
Saltalamacchia was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on August 11 when Kevin Cash was placed on the disabled list.
Salty is currently listed as the team’s top catcher on the official depth chart, now that Victor Martinez signed a free-agent deal with Detroit.
He is blessed to be surrounded by arguably the best line-up in all of baseball, and will have the benefit of learning the position from veteran Jason Varitek.
All of the pieces are now in place for Salty to finally deliver a solid major league campaign, making him an excellent late-round sleeper pick in all formats.
I do recommend having a solid backup catcher, as Salty has shown a propensity to be hurt.