The San Diego Padres have promoted 16-year-old prospect Ethan Salas to Low-A Lake Elsinore. Salas, who is the youngest player in the Padres' minor league system, will make his debut Tuesday.
MLB's No. 86 prospect will bat second and serve as the Storm's designated hitter in his minor league debut at home against Visalia. He will be the first 2006-born player to play in the minors, per FOX Sports MLB. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Nelson Rada, who was born in August 2005, was previously the youngest minor leaguer to see game action this season.
The Padres are very high on Ethan Salas, most specifically his feel for the finer parts of catching, namely receiving, framing, and communicating. Shortly after signing, the teenager worked with MLB arms, including Yu Darvish, in offseason bullpens and quickly won over veterans. His smooth left-handed swing helps him project as a future plus hitter in the majors, while his power should be average.
“He's kind of the total-package catcher,” scouting director Chris Kemp said after the Padres signed Salas this winter. “It's just rare. This is my ninth year doing international scouting and, for us, this is the most interesting guy we've scouted.”
The Padres gave Salas a Cactus League appearance this spring on March 11. He caught four innings in that game against the Chicago White Sox and grounded out to second in his only at-bat. He sustained a shoulder injury this Spring but he returned to action in extended spring training earlier this month and looked healthy enough to make the jump over to the Arizona Complex League come Tuesday.
The Padres are hoping that Ethan Salas can continue his development and become a key part of their future. He has the potential to be a core piece of the team, and with his young age, the sky's the limit for him.