No one in their right mind is going to look at a 16 year old who has yet to play an inning of professional ball and see a future Hall of Famer. But that is where we are with San Diego Padres prospect Ethan Salas.
He had been considered the top international prospect of the 2023 signing period before receiving a $5.6 million bonus from the Padres. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, some scouts are already considering Salas to be a future Hall of Famer.
Let’s pump the breaks with San Diego Padres prospect Ethan Salas
It is easy to understand why scouts would be excited about Salas. He is considered to be one of the best catching prospects in recent history, a player with impressive bloodlines and the drive to succeed. Salas has an excellent approach at the plate, able to drive the ball to all fields with impressive raw power. Defensively, he has impressed with his soft hands, ability to block pitches, and strong arm.
That overall package makes it understandable as to why Salas would have high expectations. It is fair to imagine that he could be an All Star caliber catcher at some point. The problem is that prospects, even highly regarded ones, are extremely volatile. There is a long list of former top prospects who struggled at the major league level. That is, if they even reached the majors at all. To claim that someone who has yet to make a plate appearance in affiliated ball is a possible Hall of Famer is absurd.
There is already going to be pressure on Salas. Despite the Padres’ spending spree, they have not made a move at catcher. There is a clear path to the majors for their new top prospect if he lives up to expectations. It is a matter of whether or not Salas can become the player he is projected to be.
Ethan Salas is already facing pressure as the San Diego Padres’ top prospect. Let’s pump the breaks on those lofty expectations.