After making his pro debut with the DSL Braves back in 2019 at 17 years of age, Jeremy Celedonio pretty much spent the three years prior to this season not playing due to things like a pandemic, as well as injuries. Despite a combined 49 plate appearances in three calendar years, all in the FCL, Celedonio was sent to Low-A Augusta and had a decent year overall, leading the team with 17 homers.
The Atlanta Braves signed Celedonio as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic before the 2019 season . Due to the sanctions against the team at the time, the team wasn’t able to give out any notable signing bonuses, so while Celedonio was one of the more intriguing names added by the Braves the year he signed, his bonus was still under $100,000.
Preseason report card
There was no preseason report card on Celedonio heading into this season. He not only didn’t crack our Top 25 list, but after three years not playing in games, it would’ve been too hard to figure exactly what to expect for anyone, not just Celedonio. His last, and only, extended playing time before this year came in the DSL in 2019, where he showed some power and a feel for getting on base, but also a lot of strikeouts.
What we saw in 2023
Celedonio spent the entire year in Low-A Augusta and recorded a career-high 356 plate appearances across 87 games. He hit just .188, but the rest of his slash line (.188/.332/.386) showed on-base skills and power to work with. He hit a team-leading 17 homers, as well as seven doubles, for 24 extra base hits, and walked 56 times in those 356 plate appearances... though he also struck out a massive 155 times. Of the 87 games he played, 29 were at DH and the remaining 57 all came while playing right field.
Celedonio did enough that he is likely to start 2024 in High-A Rome, and will do so at age 22 for the whole season, as he doesn’t turn 23 until after next Christmas. He showed enough power and on-base ability that he put himself on the prospect radar, even if the contact issues will keep him off of the Top 25 prospect list.
It’s hard to completely judge the tough year with strikeouts and lack of contact, as the three-year layoff and shaking off rust in 2023 were a real thing for him. However that is going to make the 2024 season a crucial year in his career, and he will need to make more consistent contact and cut the strikeouts in order to continue progressing towards the big leagues.