Ethan Salas signed with the San Diego Padres this January at the age of 16 years old. The Venezuelan youngster received a $5.6 million bonus after inking that agreement, and for good reason.
The catcher was considered to be the No. 1 international prospect in all of Major League Baseball. Just four months after landing that deal, he’s getting ready to officially begin his professional career.
Salas was called up to Low-A ball on Tuesday where he’ll suit up for the Lake Elsinore Storm.
The news comes just a couple of days before his 17th birthday.
Talk about an early bloomer!
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) May 30, 2023
That means he will play a full minor league season, successfully evading a stint in the Arizona Complex League. The ACL runs around 56 games where Single-A will last 132 contests.
Fans around the league have been quick to comment.
One follower wrote, “Oh, and he has a book report in the morning,” while another posted, “He needs a note for his teacher since it’s a school night.”
Someone else said, “I’m 16 and I can barely make the high school team.”
This social media user asked, “Is this completely unprecedented? If so, are we supposed to expect some Bryce Harper/Mike Trout level hype for this kid in a couple years?”
It appears so.
It will obviously take some time before he makes an impact on a Major League roster, but the fact that he’s already skipping the ACL could quicken a potential rise to the bigs.
It will be fun to see how Ethan Salas plays in his debut season, and where his career goes from here.