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Prospects on Deck: Padres 17-Year Old Phenom, Ethan Salas, Moving Quickly Through The Minors

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The San Diego Padres signed 16-year old Ethan Salas as an international free agent on January 15, 2023 out of Venezuela.

The lefty batting, righty throwing catcher played one game in the Venezuelan Winter league at 16 years old, before the Padres sent him to their Low A squad, Lake Elsinore Storm, in the California League.

In Salas’ first two games with the Storm from May 30-31, he went 4 for 5, with two runs scored, a double, three walks and one strikeout.

After a strong start to his season, he struggled through June, batting just 16 for 84, with 14 runs scored, five doubles, two home runs, 14 RBIs, 14 walks, and struck out 25 times.

The struggles did not last long, as the 17-year old phenom, ended the month of June with three hits in seven at bats, and started the month of July on fire. Salas recorded hits in five straight games, batting 9 for 20 (.450) and launched four home runs and drove in 10 during the streak.

Overall in the month, he batted safely in 15 out of 19 games, putting up a .366 batting average, with four doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 21 RBIs, while recording his first four hit game of his career on July 26th. He also ended the month of July on a five game hitting streak.

The Padres have a clear plan for the young catcher as he has moved through the organization very quickly in just his first season.

On August 9th, he was promoted to the High A Fort Wayne TinCaps, where he played in nine games, batting .200 (7 for 35), then on August 22nd, San Diego sent the MLB #5 Top Prospect to their Double A team, the San Antonio Missions. So far through four games, Salas is batting just .167 (3 for 18).

It seems somewhat drastic that the Padres would move the youngster up so quickly, without allowing him to work through each level in his timing. He still is only 17 years old, has only played in a total of 61 pro games, and is proving that he may need some more seasoning before he is expected to be the next MLB superstar.

This reminds me of a book I read recently, called The Kid, where the author writes about a young phenom that goes straight to the MLB with the Detroit Tigers and has an awesome season as they win a World Championship.

I am not sure that Salas has what it takes just yet to achieve such a feat, but in due time, because he has enough talent that will make him into super star in the future.

For sake of the youngster, the hope is that the Padres are truly developing him and not just parading him through the minor leagues.

The MLB Top Prospect ETA to make the majors is 2026 for Salas, so the Padres need to allow him to grow and not put added pressure on him, because in the scheme of it all, he still is just 17 years old.



David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for, and Contributor for that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for David also managed his Cape Coral 16U Rec Ball team for the past two seasons and on May 13, 2024 they won their league Championship. On May 15th, David started the first ever Legends on Deck 16U Travel Baseball team in SWFL. David's passion is teaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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