Padres’ 16-year-old prospect makes minor league debut, doubles in first at-bat

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He San Diego parents have welcomed a 16-year-old to their minor league system.

Ethan Salas, who turns 17 on Thursday, was added to the Single-A Lake Elsinore roster on Tuesday and made an immediate impact.

Ethan Salas, #85 of the San Diego Padres, runs to first base during a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox on March 11, 2023 in Peoria, Arizona. This marks the first game for the 16-year-old 2023 international draft pick. (Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

The prospect ranked 86 in Major League Baseball he doubled and singled in his first two at-bats, adding a walk and scoring a run for the Storm.

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The Padres signed the Venezuelan catcher for $5.6 million in January.

«He’s kind of the total receiver,» director of scouting Chris Kemp said after the Padres signed Salas this winter, according to MLB.com.

«It’s just weird. This is my ninth year as an international scout, and for us, this is the most interesting guy we’ve ever scouted.»

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Ethan Salas looks on during spring training

Ethan Salas, #85 of the San Diego Padres, looks on during a minor league spring training game against the Seattle Mariners at the Peoria Sports Complex on March 23, 2023 in Peoria, Arizona. (Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Salas is the first player to see playing time in Single-A in his age-16 season since Julio Urias made his debut for the los angeles dodgers at Low-A Great Lakes in 2013, according to Baseball America.

The teenager comes from a solid background in baseball, with his brother José signing with the miami marlins in 2019.

Salas’s father, grandfather and uncle all played in the minor leagues, according to the Times of San Diego.

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Ethan Salas warms up

Ethan Salas, #85 of the San Diego Padres, stands in the bullpen before a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox on March 11, 2023 in Peoria, Arizona. (Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

He made his Cactus League debut against the Chicago White Sox in March, impressing Padres manager Bob Melvin.

«For a 16-year-old behind the plate, I’ll tell you, he’s way beyond his years,» Melvin said. «You look at the way he frames the pitches, a couple of balls on the dirt that pass to him, but he’s got his wit about him… It’s pretty amazing to see a 16-year-old with that kind of composure.»

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