The San Diego Padres signed Venezuelan catcher Ethan Salas in the most recent international free agent period in January.
He was 16 years old at the time and was seen as a toolsy catcher with considerable offensive potential.
Now 17 years old, the Padres assigned him to Single-A in a move that was seen as aggressive by some.
Not only has he aced the level at his young age (being one of the youngest players in the league), but he also won a promotion to High-A.
High-A as a 17-year-old kid means Salas is super special.
MLB Pipeline published their updated prospect rankings.
Salas appears fifth ahead of some big names such as James Wood, Evan Carter, Colton Cowser, Marcelo Mayer, and others.
At just 17 years old, Ethan Salas is making quite the name for himself. 👀 pic.twitter.com/HYySfrioDw
— MLB (@MLB) August 11, 2023
He is, per MLB, the youngest top-five prospect of all time.
In Single-A, Salas batted .267/.350/.487 with nine home runs in 220 plate appearances.
He has only played two games in the more advanced level, and has a .222 batting average.
The Padres’ idea is for Salas to find some tough opposition and to see if he can make proper adjustments after struggling.
The problem is that he hasn’t really struggled to this point.
Perhaps High-A proves to be more of a challenge in the upcoming weeks, but Salas is so advanced for his age that he will likely find a way to succeed eventually.
We are talking about a guy who already made his debut in the Venezuelan professional league and has what it takes to be an impact big leaguer at a very young age.NEXT: Ken Rosenthal Predicts Trouble Brewing In Padres Clubhouse