Salem, the son of Emeel Salem, Sr, graduated from Mountain Brook High School. He played for the Crimson Tide baseball team while at the University of Alabama and was honored as a scholar-athlete, maintaining a 3.85 grade point average while double-majoring in marketing and Spanish. He was a two-time member of the ESPN Academic All-American Team and won the Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year award after his junior season. He was given the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award and the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship after his final year. He also won the inaugural Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
Salem and team-mate Wade LeBlanc were named to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-South Region first team and was honored as a College Baseball Foundation, Rivals and National Collegiate Baseball Association pre-season All-American. He was selected in the 11th round of the 2006 amateur draft, but decided to return to Alabama. During his senior season he batted .351 with 61 runs, 81 hits, seven doubles, three triples, seven home runs, 32 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases in 57 games.
Salem was selected in the 6th round of the 2007 amateur draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and signed a professional contract in June. He began his professional career with the Class-A Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York - Penn League and made the league's post-season All-Star team. In 2008 he spent the season with the Class-A Columbus Catfish of the South Atlantic League. He was named the Rays organization's minor league Player of the Month in April of that year. In May he broke his elbow sliding head-first into second base, ending his season early.
Salem began the 2009 season with the Class A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Florida State League. In 38 games, he batted .255 with 54 runs, 91 hits, 12 doubles, seven triples, 22 RBIs, and 24 stolen bases in 99 games. He began the 2010 season with the AA Southern League's Montgomery Biscuits and also played three games for the AAA Durham Bulls of the International League. He did not play in 2011 and returned to Montgomery for 23 games in 2012 before he was released.
- "Emeel Salem" (June 19, 2013) Wikipedia - accessed February 11, 2014
- Emeel Salem stats at baseball-reference.com