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Everything You Need to Know About Teenage Padres Prospect Ethan Salas

He’s just 16, but already drawing comparisons to a former AL MVP. Let’s get to know the Venezuelan prospect that the San Diego Padres just made a millionaire.

The San Diego Padres reportedly reached a verbal agreement with 16-year-old phenom catcher Ethan Salas Thursday for a $5.6 million bonus prior to the official opening of MLB‘s 2023 international signing period on Jan. 15. He’s been reportedly expected to sign with the Padres for quite some time.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound backstop was born on June 1, 2006 (!) and is MLB.com’s top-ranked 2023 international prospect. On baseball’s traditional 20-80 scouting scale, Salas is already rated an overall 55 by MLB.com, which grades out as an above-average big league player. His hitting is graded as a 60, as well as his arm. his fielding tool gets a 55, while his power and running each grade out at 50.

“The top player in the class is one of the best catching prospects in recent history,” MLB.com writes in its scouting report, along with good raw power, a nice, loose swing, and plus potential defensively.

The $5.6 million figure headed into Salas’ pockets expected to take up the vast majority of the Padres’ international bonus pool money for the year. To put that bonus into context, $5.6 million is just under the $5.675 million the Minnesota Twins gave Brooks Lee, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2022 MLB amateur draft, and more than the Kansas City Royals gave No. 7 overall pick Gavin Cross.

Salas also comes from a long line of baseball players. His brother, Jose, is an infielder in the Miami Marlins system and is their No. 5-ranked prospect. His father, Jose Antonio, played in the Atlanta Braves‘ organization, uncle Jose Gregorio played in the Toronto Blue Jays‘ system, and grandfather Jose Gregorio played in the Houston Astros’ and Royals’ systems.

The lefty prodigy was compared in the ESPN piece to a young copy of Joe Mauer and is a member of MLB’s Trainer Partnership Program that works to develop elite international prospects. So, while we may not see Ethan Salas on national TV for a good few years, he’ll be given every chance to continue ascending and star for the Padres in the Show alongside Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Xander Boegarts for years to come.

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About The Author
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung is a Senior Staff Writer at Boardroom. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with past work appearing in Forbes, MLB.com, Awful Announcing, and The Sporting News. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and his Twitter and Spotify addictions are well under control. Just ask him.