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If you’ve ever wanted to know a little more about what it’s like for an international amateur to sign a baseball contract, today’s Minor League Podcast is for you.
Adam Pohl, the voice of the Double-A Bowie Baysox, spends several minutes talking with Bowie infielder Erick Salcedo about the process.
Salcedo, a native of Valencia, Venezuela, was playing in showcases and spending weeks at baseball academies in his country when he was barely a teen-ager. He had to travel a few hours away from his family while attempting to follow his dream at 13 or14.
And that was just to get noticed by scouts – representatives from most big league teams who were there to watch gaggles of players every day. There was a lot of pressure to stand out – for 13-year-olds.
Salcedo (picture above) was signed by the Los Angeles Angels at age 16 and then was shipped to the Dominican Republic, because the political strife in Venezuela made it unsafe to have full academies in his native country. So, at the time most Americans are learning how to drive, Salcedo was in a completely different country learning to become a ballplayer.
It’s pretty fascinating stuff and the 23-year-old Salcedo, who was traded to the Orioles in a package for lefty Chris Jones in 2016, does an excellent job explaining the process despite English being his second language.
Salcedo, by the way, is batting .271 with four homers and 20 RBIs while playing mainly shortstop for the Baysox this year.
In the first part of the podcast, Pohl takes an in-depth look at the Frederick Keys by talking to the team’s director of broadcasting Geoff Arnold.
Arnold details what he’s seen this year from some of Frederick’s top prospects, including infielder Ryan Mountcastle, outfielder Austin Hays and starting pitcher Cody Sedlock.
Give it a listen.