TheSan Diego Padresinvested almost $6 million in Ethan Salas signing bonus in 2023.
He was the best prospect of his class and, naturally, the most expensive.
Salas is a 16-year-old catcher with solid defensive skills and a sweet swing from the left side of the plate.
Prospects his age are often in high school, in summer leagues, or the Complex League.
At best, the very good ones are assigned to Rookie ball.
The Padres, however, are showing they trust Salas enough to handle professional ball.
At 16 years old, Padres prospect Ethan Salas has been added to their Single-A Lake Elsinore roster. Salas will make his@MiLBdebut tonight and will be the first 2006-born player to play in the minors, FOX Sports MLB tweeted.
At 16 years old, Padres prospect Ethan Salas has been added to their Single-A Lake Elsinore roster.
FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) May 30, 2023
Salas is officially the youngest player in the minor leagues right now, as he is the only one who was born in 2006.
He made his debut on Tuesday and hit a double in his first plate appearance.
He finished the game by going 2-for-3 with the double, a walk, and a strikeout.
Low-A, for a 16-year-old kid who is supposed to be doing 16-year-old things, represents a major challenge.
The organization seems to trust that Salas has not only the willingness to learn and adjust, but also the maturity to handle failure.
By sending him to play with the pros, the Padres will know if Salas talent is truly elite and how good he is at making adjustments on the go, a necessary trait for elite players.
He has a chance to be a star but is still a long way to go before he reaches the majors.