The San Diego Padres are not wasting any time with Ethan Salas.
He had been considered extremely advanced for a 16 year old international prospect when the Padres handed him virtually their entire signing pool. He caught Yu Darvish in spring training and even saw action on the major league side. It was not a surprise that the Padres were aggressive with their young catcher, starting his professional career in the full season California League.
San Diego Padres not slowing Ethan Salas down
Salas spent just 48 games in A-Ball before getting promoted to High-A. He struggled in his nine games with the Tin Caps, with seven hits, including a double, in his 37 plate appearances, striking out ten times. However, he was still doing enough to impress the front office, as Salas is reportedly being promoted to Double-A San Antonio.
He has already made quite a name for himself in a few short months. Salas had been considered the top international prospect and has rocketed up the overall prospect lists since signing. He is the youngest top five prospect in MLB Pipeline history. And he is the first 17 year old to play at Double-A since Michael De Leon appeared with the Frisco RoughRiders for one game in 2014.
Even with those struggles in High-A, Salas has more than held his own this season. He has produced a solid .257/.335/.447 batting line in his 257 plate appearances, hitting nine homers and 12 doubles while stealing five bases. While he did not throw out any of the ten players attempting to steal against him in Fort Wayne, Salas is still showing his impressive defense. If he continues to impress, Double-A may not be his last stop this season.
Originally, the thought had been that Salas might make his major league debut some time in 2024. But that was also before the Padres had begun aggressively pushing him forward. Gary Sanchez has been a revelation, but the Padres have to look to the future as well. Maybe, with an impressive Double-A showing, Salas can show what the future will look like in September.
Ethan Salas is getting closer to the majors. The San Diego Padres aggressiveness could lead to a look sooner than expected.