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Player Outlook
Ethan Salas, a lefty-hitting bilingual catcher from Venezuela, was the top prospect in the 2023 international signing class ($5.8 million bonus) and became the first 16-year-old to play in a full-season league since Adrian Beltre in 1996. He slashed .248/.331/.421 with nine home runs, five steals, a 25.9 K% and a 10.3 BB% in 290 plate appearances across Single-A, High-A and Double-A, with 220 of those PAs coming at Single-A. Salas, who turns 18 in June, should spend the bulk of the year in the upper levels of the minors, which is exceedingly rare for a prospect his age, especially a plus defensive catcher. Given that he was four years younger than the average Single-A hitter last year, it's tough to look at his statistics and confidently project his output over the next couple seasons. What is clear, is that Salas is a special talent with elite makeup and a chance to be the best catching prospect since Adley Rutschman.

Fantasy News

  • Padres' Ethan Salas: Beginning season in High-A ball

    Salas has gone 3-for-9 with two RBI and a stolen base through two games while opening the minor-league season with High-A Fort Wayne. Salas emerged as arguably the top catching prospect in baseball last season after reaching Double-A as a 17-year-old. He played in just nine games at that level, though, and struggled with a 5-for-28 showing at the plate, so it's not surprising that the Padres elected to have him open 2024 back at the High-A level. That said, it shouldn't take long for Salas to be promoted if he performs well, and he's already incredibly advanced both offensively and defensively given his age.
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  • Padres' Ethan Salas: Re-assigned to minor-league camp

    Salas was re-assigned to minor-league camp by the Padres on Sunday, AJ Cassavell of reports. Just being invited to big-league camp as a 17-year-old was an accomplishment in and of itself for Salas, who went 2-for-7 at the plate during his limited Cactus League opportunities. He's slated to begin the season at Double-A San Antonio after finishing there in 2023. The top prospect slashed .248/.331/.421 with nine home runs over 66 games across three levels last season.
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  • Padres' Ethan Salas: Exits Saturday with knee issue

    Salas departed Double-A San Antonio's win over Wichita after three innings Saturday due to right knee irritation, Jeff Sanders of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Salas started behind the plate and went 0-for-1 before his departure. According to Sanders, Padres player development indicated that the initial evaluation of Salas was "very positive" and has labeled the 17-year-old as day-to-day. Salas has struggled since being promoted to Double-A on Aug. 20, slashing .179/.303/.214 with no homers over 33 plate appearances, though he continues to display good patience with a 12.5 percent walk rate.
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  • Padres' Ethan Salas: Powering up in Single-A ball

    Over his past eight games with Single-A Lake Elsinore, Salas has slashed .400/.500/1.067 with five home runs, three doubles, one triple, 13 RBI and a 5:7 BB:K. Salas got off to a slow start after being sent to full-season ball for his professional debut, and through June 28 he was batting .207 with just one homer. However, the promising prospect has taken off since then, justifying the organization's decision to have him skip ahead to Single-A rather than debut in the Arizona Complex League. Given Salas' development at such a young age (he turned 17 on June 1), the sky appears to be the limit for him, and dynasty managers who roster the backstop have every reason to be ecstatic about his potential as a future MLB star.
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