A new set of Major League Baseball (MLB) prospect rankings has been released, and Ethan Salas (17) has risen to No. 5 overall.
Salas, a left-handed hitting catcher for the San Diego Padres, is ranked No. 5 overall in MLB’s latest pipeline rankings, after failing to crack the top 100 in the last release. According to MLB.com, Salas is the first prospect to reach the top five at the age of 17.
Born on June 1, 2006, Salas is a very young player, having just turned 17 two months ago. He’s been called the best catching prospect in Venezuela’s history, and he’s realizing that assessment.
Salas signed an international contract with San Diego in January of this year for $5.6 million, and at the time, the Padres made a big splash by “dumping” 96% of their international prospect signing bonus ($5.85 million) on Salas. The $5.6 million was the highest amount since the international prospect signing bonus pool became a “hard cap” rather than a free market.
Since joining the team this year, Salas has shown that San Diego’s investment hasn’t been in vain, as he’s quickly risen through the ranks to High Single-A, where the average player is four years older than him. Salas is also the first player ever promoted to High Single-A at age 17.
On the 20-80 scale, which grades a prospect’s talent from a high of 80 to a low of 20, Salas is rated high in every category except baserunning: 60 for hitting, 55 for power, 60 for shoulders, 60 for defense, and 45 for fielding. He’s so young that we can’t be sure how he’ll develop, but it’s clear that he’s the most talented player his age in MLB history.온라인바카
For San Diego, whose prospect farm has been depleted for years by sacrificing prospects for “Wynnau,” Salas is the new hope for the future.