Eddie Saldivar rose on to professional talent evaluators’ radars last summer when he competed in the Area Code Games and the Future Stars Series. His speed and raw tools stood out to scouts.
This spring, Saldivar, a second baseman at San Joaquin Memorial (Calif.) High, continued to enhance his status for July’s MLB draft. Saldivar is now in the mix to go in the early rounds of the draft, with scouts projecting him as a potential top-five-round pick.
“It is a dream,” Saldivar said. “It is awesome. You grow up wanting to play in the big leagues. It’s cool to get love and recognition, but I’m not satisfied. I always want more no matter what.”
Saldivar is a 5-foot-10, 165-pound left-handed hitter who has a loose and easy swing. He consistently barrels up pitches and drives the ball into the gaps. Right now, he is more of a contact over power hitter. He has an advanced approach at the plate and should add some power to his game as he matures.
“I would say my hit and run tools are my biggest strengths,” Saldivar said. “I just have a consistent approach and know what my ability is and how I can help my team win.”
Defensively, Saldivar grew up playing second base and profiles at that position long-term. He has practiced playing in the outfield and MLB teams have had him take reps in the outfield during pre-draft workouts.
Saldivar has above-average arm strength and speed. He makes all the routine plays at second base. This offseason, Saldivar wants to refine his defensive footwork to help him improve his range.
“I can definitely improve on my footwork defensively with moving to my right,” Saldivar said. “Hitting wise, seeing the ball more up in the zone and recognizing off-speed pitches earlier in the counts.”
Besides his status as a top draft prospect, Saldivar is a Long Beach State commit. He verbally committed to Long Beach State in the summer leading up to his junior year on June 18, 2019. The program’s coaching staff and history stood out to him throughout the recruiting process.
“I had a great relationship with coach Eric Valenzuela when he was at St. Mary’s before he moved schools,” Saldivar said. “Once he made the switch to Long Beach State, I gave him a call, and things clicked. The coaching staff is unbelievable. It was a no-brainer to go to a historic program like them.”
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He has interviewed 253 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.