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ACE Boston Player Feature: Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Posted by Caitlin on May 1st, 2012 in Sports

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia gets ACE Player of the Week for his consistent defense behind the plate and his blossoming offense displayed over the past few games. The 26 year old is a career .244 hitter, with 286 hits, 39 home runs, 151 RBI, and a .406 slugging percentage. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2003. In the 2006 and 2007 seasons, he had strong years in the minors, hitting .314 with 35 doubles, 19 home runs, 81 RBI in 129 games in 2006, and .373 with seven home runs in 22 games in 2007 before being called up to the majors in May 2007.

The Braves had a long-term plan in starting catcher Brian McCann, so after much speculation, Salty was traded to the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline in a blockbuster deal, sending him, Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, and Beau Jones for Mark Teixeira. He finished off the season at .284 with four home runs and 12 RBI. In 2008, Salty hit .253 in 61 games, with 13 2B, three HR, 26 RBI, 31 BB, and 74 SO. Gerald Laird took over the starting job for most of the year, and he played sometime in the minors before coming back up to play back-up.

It was much of the same in 2009 with Salty hitting .233 in 84 games, with 12 2B, nine HR, 34 RBI, 22 BB, and 97 SO. In the beginning of the season, Salty ended a streak he would have rather not have made, striking out in 28 consecutive games. In August, he went down with a shoulder injury, and on his return started in the minors. He suffered a mental block with throwing the ball back to the mound, but was able to overcome it.

In 2010, Salty was traded to the Red Sox at the trade deadline. He only played in 12 games that season, hitting .167, with four hits, three of them doubles, two RBI, six BB, and five SO. 2011 was the first year Salty started for the Sox. With established catcher and captain Jason Varitek as back-up, Salty took some time to adjust to his new role, getting used to the pitchers while struggling offensively. After a rough start for the Sox, the team and Salty got on track. Though the Sox were eliminated from the playoffs on the last day of the regular season, Salty had a fairly productive season. His stat line: .235 BA, 103 G, 358 AB, 52 R, 84 H, 27 TB, 23 2B, three 3B, 16 HR, 56 RBI, 24 BB, 119 SO, one SB, .288 OBP, .450 SLG, and .737 OPS.

Since taking over the starting catching position with the Sox, Salty’s priority has been focused on the pitching staff. With the rest of the offense putting up big numbers, he didn’t have to be the best hitter on the team, though he was one of the most productive catchers of the American League.

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