Padres promote 17-year-old top prospect to Double-A (report)

August 20th, 2023

Ethan Salas won’t turn 18 years old until June 2024. But the Padres' top prospect continues to rise up the Minor League ranks.

Salas, MLB Pipeline’s No. 5 prospect, has been promoted to Double-A San Antonio, according to multiple reports. The club has not confirmed the news.

The 17-year-old catcher was not in the lineup Sunday for High-A Fort Wayne. Salas has played just nine games with the TinCaps, hitting .200 with one double and no home runs. He was promoted to High-A on Aug. 8 after starting the season with Single-A Lake Elsinore. At the Single-A level, Salas hit .267 with nine home runs and an .837 OPS in 48 games.

At age 17, Salas would instantly become the youngest player in Double-A, where the average age is 24. Michael De León, who played for Double-A Frisco in the Rangers' organization at age 17 in 2014, is believed to be the last 17-year-old to reach that level.

MLB Pipeline projects Salas to reach the Major Leagues in 2026, although given the Padres’ aggressive promotions of the young catcher, that timeline could be accelerated. Salas signed a $5.6 million deal with the Padres in January when the international signing window opened.

Salas, a left-handed batter who throws right-handed, received plus grades for his hitting, fielding and his arm behind the plate, with each attribute receiving a 60 on the 20-80 scale.