Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Adopt-A-Prospect Introduction: Adrian Salcedo

Seth Stohs and the other TwinsCentric guys have put together an interesting concept for inclusion on their website, TwinsDaily. Yesterday morning fans were asked to "adopt" a player from the Twins minor league system to follow as that player travels through the farm system. Each player was only allowed to be pick once and it was offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Once you selected a player the rules became pretty simple. You were required to write an introductory post that included their basic information like height, weight, and handedness. This first post could also include their previous stats from their time in the minor leagues. Then during the rest of the year you are required to post at least once a week about their progress in the system. Overall it is going to be a fun process to watch develop over at the TwinsDaily site.

I got to the selection forum about a half hour after the forum went live so some of the top prospects were already off of the board. I "adopted" Adrian Salcedo, the number seven ranked prospect in my top 20 Twins prospects for the start of the 2012 season. I wrote a short introductory post last night on TwinsDaily with the basic information about Salcedo and his statistics for the seasons he has completed through 2011.

So throughout the year, I will be periodically updating you on one of the top pitching prospects in the Twins minor league system. Below you will find a introductory post on Salcedo with some information about how he got to this point in his career.

Enjoy the first step in my "Adopt-A-Prospect" series with Adrian Salcedo.
Salcedo joined the Twins as a young 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic back in 2007 and in his time in the organization, he has done nothing but impress as he has moved consistently through the farm system. The lanky 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher is at the beginning of his fifth year as a pitcher in the organization and he has worked his way through the system to the starting rotation of the High-A Fort Myers Miracle. His journey from the Dominican Republic to this point in his career has been quite the story and he seems destined for Minnesota. 

In his first year with the Twins organization, Salcedo was asked to pitch in the Dominican Summer League. That first season allowed Salcedo to show his ability to be a control pitcher by only giving up eight walks and having a 0.842 WHIP. His 65.1 innings on the mound were solid as he posted a 1.65 ERA as a 17-year-old. It was a good start to his career and the Twins were happy with their new signee.

The following season Salcedo came stateside for his first short-season in the Gulf Coast League. It seemed that the transition did not even impact Salcedo as he was able to post very good numbers for the second year in a row. His outstanding ERA from the year before went even lower to 1.46 with the GCL Twins. The Twins like control pitchers and he continued to fit this mold by only allowing three walks and a 1.022 WHIP. He pitched 61.2 innings and his SO/BB rate was 19.33, an off the charts number.

Salcedo had caught the eyes of many in the Twins organization and he would be throw into the fire at the beginning of the 2010 season. The Fort Myers Miracle had some issues in their starting rotation and Salcedo was asked to make six starts with them to start the season. He had never pitched higher than the rookie leagues so this was a big jump to make for a 19-year-old. As could be predicted, there were some bumps along the way but the experience he gained with the Miracle could help him in the long run. Eventually, he would be sent back to the rookie leagues with the E-Twins and this level of competition seemed to help Salcedo get back on track. During his time in Elizabethton, he was twice named the pitcher of the week for the entire league. He ended the year with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.232 WHIP in 93.1 innings pitched between both levels.

The start of the 2011 season would be another transition year for Salcedo because this would be his first year in a full season league. He quickly showed he belonged in the Midwest League by striking out 10 batters in his first trip to the mound. From there Salcedo would put up impressive numbers by posting a 2.93 ERA and a 1.170 WHIP in 135.0 innings on the mound. At the mid-season point, he was named as a Midwest League All-Star for his stellar play on the field. The Twins are being careful with Salcedo and he was asked to be a relief pitcher at the end of the year so the organization could limit his innings.

Salcedo began this year in familiar territory with the Fort Myers Miracle but this time he would be playing at his own level. He has made three starts this year and in each of the outings, he has allowed two earned runs or less. The team is still working to stretch Salcedo out because he has not pitch more than five innings in any of his appearances. The one stat that sticks out so far in 2012 is the eight walks he has given up. For a control pitcher, the Twins will want him to be able to keep his amount of walks to a minimal amount. It is still early in the year so there is plenty of time for Salcedo to show that he is one of the best prospects in the Twins organization.

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