Rubén Dario Salazar
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 162 lb.
Ruben Salazar is a Venezuelan infielder who played minor league baseball from 1998 to 2009. He was originally signed by the Minnesota Twins and was with the GCL Twins in 1998, although since he was already 20 at the time, he may well have played in the Venezuelan Summer League before that. He hit .248/.287/.348 in 50 games his first season, then moved up to the Elizabethton Twins of the Appalachian League in 1999. There he had a tremendous year, hitting a scorching .401/.498/.668 in 64 games, He hit 24 doubles and 14 homers, scored 66 runs and drove in 65 while playing both second and third base.
Hitting .400, even if it's in a low-level short-season league, has a way of making a player a prospect, and in 2000, Rubén moved all the way to the Fort Myers Miracle of the Florida State League, skipping a couple of levels in the process. He continued to do very well, hitting .311/.359/.427 in 124 games, with 25 doubles and 11 homers. He was selected to play in the 2000 Futures Game for the World Team. He moved up another level in 2001, to the AA Eastern League where he played for the New Britain Rock Cats. In 137 games, he hit .298/.348/.417 while playing primarily at second base. He played one more season in organized baseball, making it up to AAA with the Edmonton Trappers, after spending most of the year at New Britain. However, he did not progress, hitting .272/.323/.373 in 100 games and the once-hit prospect found himself playing in the independent leagues the next season.
He became a fixture for the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks of the Northern League, playing for them from 2003 to 2009. During those six seasons, he never hit below .292, with a high of .378 in 2008 and also had seasons of 10 and 12 homers. He also played winter baseball in his native country starting ion 2006-07, when he was with the Tigres de Aragua. He also saw action with the Tiburones de La Guaira and the Cardenales de Lara.