If the San Diego Padres have shown something in recent seasons, it’s that they are not afraid to spend in order to give themselves the best chance to win.
In recent seasons, they have signed or traded for big-money players.
However, they also know and understand the importance of having a great farm system and investing in it.
Until just a couple of years ago, they were the owners of the best minor league system in MLB.
Since they acquired so much talent via trade (Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, Jake Cronenworth, Austin Nola, Josh Hader, Juan Soto, and several others), the farm is a bit decimated, but the team is in the process of replenishing it.
The opening of the 2023 international signing period gave the Padres a golden chance to start bringing in impact prospects to take the system to what it was a couple of years ago.
They signed the best prospect of the class, Venezuelan catcher Ethan Salas, and gave him a huge $5.6 million bonus.
They posted a hype video of their newest acquisition, and just by looking at his explosive swing and fluid footwork behind the plate, you know he could be a special one.
Welcome to San Diego, Ethan! pic.twitter.com/HdZafmPHTI
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) January 15, 2023
Per MLB.com, Salas has advanced knowledge of the strike zone and can hit the ball to all fields.
His raw power is already there, but his frame suggests he is not done growing and could add more power in the future.
His swing is compact and powerful.
Defensively, Salas has soft hands and understand what is needed to play catcher.
His mechanics are sound and his arm is strong.
He also moves well for a catcher and has some sneaky speed.
Overall, the Padres are signing a great one.