No. 3 prospect Salas (right shoulder) resumes throwing, hitting

May 14th, 2023

' highly awaited pro debut was temporarily on hold as he recently battled soreness in his right shoulder. But Salas, the organization’s No. 3 prospect and MLB Pipeline’s No. 94 overall, has resumed throwing and hitting and could appear in extended spring training games at the team’s complex in Peoria, Ariz., in the near future.

The buzz is palpable.

On the Minor League side, Salas was the talk of Spring Training for the Padres. The 16-year-old backstop was the top-ranked prospect in the latest international signing class. He impressed enough during camp to make an appearance in a Cactus League game.

"For a 16-year-old kid behind the plate, I'll tell you, he's well beyond his years," Padres manager Bob Melvin said at the time. "... It's pretty incredible to see a 16-year-old with that kind of composure."

Salas was expected to debut at Single-A Lake Elsinore, though after his recent shoulder trouble, it’s unclear what the timetable might now be for his first Minor League game action.

Needless to say, the Padres are eager for him to get started.

"He's kind of the total-package catcher,” scouting director Chris Kemp said after the Padres signed him in January. “It's just rare. This is my ninth year doing international scouting and, for us, this is the most interesting guy we've scouted."

Here’s the latest on the Padres’ system:

Triple-A El Paso
started strong in his rehab assignment at El Paso, going 4-for-9 with a homer and a walk in his first two games. With the Padres in need of left-handed bench weapons, Dahl could fill that void if he continues to progress from the strained right quad that has sidelined him since early April. 

, and have all continued their strong starts through the first month. On the mound, right-hander has impressed in relief, posting a 1.13 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 16 innings. Meanwhile, left-hander has struggled, notching a 7.88 ERA across eight starts.

Double-A San Antonio
Left-hander , the team's No. 16 prospect, has a 5.40 ERA through six starts, but his underlying numbers indicate he's doing a lot of things well on the mound. Wolf has 36 strikeouts across 21 2/3 innings with just eight walks. Meanwhile, in the bullpen, right-hander is off to a nice start, with a 2.60 ERA in nine outings covering 17 1/3 innings. He's striking out nearly 12.5 hitters per nine innings, but his next step would be lowering a dicey walk rate.

High-A Fort Wayne
The fastest riser in the Padres’ system? Right now, it might be first baseman , currently the team's No. 23 prospect. The 22-year-old fifth-round pick out of Cal is off to a torrid start at Fort Wayne, entering Sunday with a .371 on-base percentage and a .509 slugging percentage. He's also demonstrated precisely the approach the Padres look for from their young hitters. Without sacrificing his power, he's drawn more walks than strikeouts this season.

Catcher , the Padres' No. 30 prospect, has been another standout at Fort Wayne with an OPS above 1.000 through his first 14 games.

Single-A Lake Elsinore
The Storm's hot start to the 2023 season has continued, as they've posted a 19-13 record to start the year, second in the California League's South division. No. 5 prospect Robby Snelling has led the way on the mound, with an absurd 1.35 ERA and a sub-1 WHIP through six starts. Meanwhile, outfielder , the team's No. 4 prospect, is reaching base at a near-.400 clip. The Padres' lower-level success is a notable achievement, considering their need to restock a system that's been decimated by trades over the past 18 months.