Juan Salazar (minors03)
Juan Manuel Salazar
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 150 lb.
Juan Salazar has played in the minor leagues, Venezuela and Spain.
Salazar debuted as a pro in the Venezuelan Summer League in 1999-2000. He hit .230 for Cagua the first year and .374 for San Joaquin the next. He finished third in the VSL in average behind Saúl Torres and Carlos Arroyo. In 2001, he hit .248/.322/.261 in 46 games for the GCL Red Sox with 16 steals in 23 tries and also was 7 for 26 with three walks for the Lowell Spinners. He led the GCL Red Sox in swipes. He spent two games that summer with the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League but did not bat (through 2012, it was his only experience in Venezuela's top league). In 2002, he fell to .197/.300/.223 for the Augusta Greenjackets with only 5 doubles and 2 triples as extra-base hits in 350 at-bats. His steal rate was down, with 11 steals to 10 times caught. He fielded .976 at his main spot, second base, and .956 at short. He tied for third in the South Atlantic League in hit-by-pitch (19) and tied for 7th in sacrifice hits (10).
Salazar came to Spain's Division de Honor in 2004 (as did Jesus Golindano, a fellow Venezuelan and occasional teammate in Spain). As of 2012, Spanish baseball stats from 2004-2008 are unavailable online, though. In the 2008 European Cup, Juan went 6 for 24 with two walks, four errors, a run and four RBI as his FC Barcelona club placed 4th. He hit .346/.430/.433 and fielded .965 for Barcelona in the 2009 Division de Honor season. The next year, he batted .412/.524/.509 for CB Sant Boi, placing him third in the league in average (behind Tony Granadillo and Larry Infante), third in OBP (behind Granadillo and Infante) and first in times plunked (12). In the 2010 European Cup, he struggled in the field with four errors in five games; at the plate, he was 4 for 16 with two walks, three runs and two RBI.
In 2011, Salazar hit .385/.519/.453 for Sant Boi with 23 runs and 23 RBI in 26 games, while fielding .979. He was 5th in Spain in OBP, tied for first in sacrifice flies (4) and 7th in average. In the 2011 European Cup, he went 10 for 19 with 3 doubles, a triple, walk, six runs and four RBI in five games. He again struggled with the glove in a European Cup, making three errors. He led the Amsterdam round in average (48 points over Robert Gruber), slugging (112 points ahead of Joe Mazzuca), tied for second in OBP (with Roelie Henrique and Rafael Rivas), tied for third in runs (6, behind Juan Carlos Infante and Henrique), tied for second in hits (with Mazzuca, one behind Gruber), tied for third in doubles (with Alexander Toropov and Kenny Berkenbosch), was second in total bases (one behind Mazzuca), led in assists (21) and tied for third in errors (with Aleksandr Maksiakov and Dennis Ribbens).
For 2012, Juan fell to .320/.393/.373 and fielded .955 for the Astros Valencia. He scored 24 runs in 21 games. He was only among the league leaders in times hit by pitch (7, tied for 7th). In the 2012 European Championship, Salazar was a second baseman for the Spanish national team.