really amazed by the size and ability of baseball talent recently coming
out of the high school ranks. For
a young man to be committed heart and soul, to the great game of baseball
and have the talent to back it, makes today’s major league scouts’ job
Dombroske’s 2003 Top 10
for the Atlanta Braves was a great evaluation of
the up-and-coming talent in the Braves organization.
I wish I could write as smoothly as Dombroske does.
But one player missing from the 2003 Top 10 Prospects for the Atlanta Braves was a 2003
supplemental 1st round draft pick.
This Floridian has been described by scout as having a comparable
frame to a young Javy Lopez.
Beckett Baseball “The
Rookie Issue”, claims this prospect is best compared to Boston Red
Sox’s catcher Jason Veritek. His
2003 numbers were not the most impressive (.239 - 2 - 14 in 134 AB at Gulf
Coast League), but to be able to hit from both sides of the plate, and
with a 6’-2”, 205 lb frame, makes one look a little harder.
With that second glance one will see a polished catcher, with an
ability to play third base, smart, aggressive and a natural leader on and
off the field. This young man
is one to watch in the future. I’m
very please to bring you an interview with the pride of Royal Palm Beach
High School (West Palm Beach, FL), Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
an article about you that I read, you said “It’s a dream come true to
be drafted by the Braves. My
brother and I have always watched the Braves on television.”
What are your earliest recollections of Atlanta Brave players &
games attended? Did your
brother and you collect Atlanta Braves memorabilia as kids?
My brother got to go to spring training games because
the Braves were here in West Palm Beach.
He has a baseball autographed by Dale Murphy and Bob Horner.
I was too young at the time. We
have enjoyed watching Chipper Jones over the years and I guess my most
memorable recollection was when the Braves won the World Series.
Up to your high school career, what baseball experience(s)
have you had? Any special
teams stick out in your mind?
Junior Olympic Baseball Championships Gold Medal Winner with Team Florida
2001 USA Youth National Team
2002 USA Junior National Team
How would you describe your high school career at Royal Palm
Beach HS in Florida? Were
there any special coaches or teammates that left an impression with you on
how you will approach the pro game?
Both fun and challenging. Playing baseball is my love and not all of my high school
teammates shared that love which was a little frustrating but I was lucky
to have a coach and a friend in Coach Bush who taught me a lot about
leadership on and off the field. I
wasn’t fortunate enough to play for Coach Valiente who was RPBHS first
Baseball Coach or Coach Gonzalez who is the present Coach but they helped
me by listening and providing good advice.
Outside of the high school game, did you display your
baseball talent through any other venue?
Yes. Participated in numerous “Perfect Game” and
“TeamOne” Showcases and Tournaments throughout the country.
What role has your family played in your baseball career?
My family has always been involved with me through my
baseball career and their support means everything to me.
What was your private workout with the Braves scout last May
and exciting. I felt very comfortable with the Braves organization.
What thoughts/emotions did you experience before, during and
after the June 2003 draft? How
hard was the decision to sign with the Braves over continuing your
baseball career at Florida State?
Before the draft I was unsure of what was going to
happen, during the draft it was agonizing because we lost audio feed and I
had no way of knowing what was going on.
We got audio back about two picks before they called my name then
everything went crazy at my house, the phone started ringing off the hook
and reporters showed up so by the end of the draft I was very happy. I have been a FSU fan all my life and I was looking forward
to playing for Coach Martin and Coach Shoupe but it has always been a
dream to play professional baseball and I didn’t want to give up a
chance to play at that level.
After signing with the Braves did you experience any pro ball
in their minor league system? What
have been your experiences since signing with the Braves?
Yes. Played in the Gulf Coast League. Had 46 starts
behind the dish, 134 AB with 32 hits, 11 doubles, 2 triples, 3 HR (all in
August) 14 RBI, 28 BB and 33 K’s. Finished with a .239 BA but the
catching instruction I got was invaluable.
Won the Gulf Coast League Championship for the first
The Braves are a first class organization with a great
staff that really care about there players well being and future.
What aspects of your game do you feel you need to work on and
what is your off season training like?
I feel I always need to work on all aspects of my
game, off season I worked hard concentrating on hitting and catching
What is your attitude towards in-person and through-the-mail
I feel amazed and honored that anyone would want my
autograph. I get a lot of letters from kids that want my autograph and I
try to write back to each one and give them an autographed BB card.
Outside of baseball what are your likes and dislikes?
Spending time with friends and family are my likes and
having too much time off without playing baseball is my dislike.
Complete this sentence…When I’m not playing baseball, you
would find me
Out with friends or playing golf.