Braves sign 18-year-old Dominican prospect for $1.6 million

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David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves and Dominican shortstop prospect Edward Salcedo have agreed to a deal worth $1.6 million.
Salcedo has been on the prospect radar for several years and nearly signed with the Indians for a reported $2 million back in 2007, but O’Brien notes that “the deal fell apart because of questions about whether he was old enough to sign with a major league organization.”
MLB recently conducted an official investigation at the Braves’ request and found that Salcedo was born on July 30, 1991. So now the Braves have an 18-year-old shortstop prospect who O’Brien describes as “a strong defensive player and a better hitter, with a line-drive swing and good power potential.”
He’ll likely begin this season at Single-A, but it sounds like the Braves think the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder has the potential to move pretty quickly up the organizational ladder.

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.