Salomón Brian Manríquez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 190 lb.
- High School Colegio Teresiano
Manríquez was signed by scout Randy Kierce for the Montréal Expos as an undrafted free agent in 1999. The next year, he debuted professionally with the DSL Expos (.253, 1 HR, 32 RBI) and the Cagua team in the Venezuelan Summer League (.167 in brief action). In 2001, the 18-year-old eked out a .217/.277/.292 line with the GCL Expos, striking out in 30 of 120 at-bats. He led the Gulf Coast League catchers with 9 errors that year.
In 2002, Salomón returned to the GCL Expos and showed significant improvement, with a .282/.344/.450 line at the plate. He split '03 between the Vermont Expos (.196/.243/.256, 41 K in 168 AB, a league-leading 16 passed balls at catcher) and the Savannah Sand Gnats (.239/.280/.419, 25 K in 117 AB).
The 2004 season marked a very busy year for the young Venezuelan. He played 10 games for Vermont (.290/.333/.484), 32 for Savannah (.265/.315/.402), 16 with the Brevard County Manatees (.250/.264/.404) and 11 with the Harrisburg Senators (.148/.148/.296), covering every class A level and AA.
He settled down in the 2005 campaign, spending all year with the Potomac Cannons. At age 22, he hit .287/.336/.479 with 36 doubles and 15 homers. He batted .331 against left-handers and fielded .992, though he had 15 passed balls. Returning to Harrisburg in '06, Manríquez batted .257/.320/.398 and 86 strikeouts in 339 AB. He played for the World team in the 2006 Futures Game, drawing a walk after entering as a backup to George Kottaras. That winter, he was taken in the AAA section of the Rule V Draft by the Colorado Rockies and traded to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations.