Third-Most Expensive International Prospect In History Shows Elite Hands In MLB Debut At Just 16 (!!) Years Old

Ethan Salas made his MLB debut during spring training on Saturday afternoon. He is just 16 years old.

Salas, who would be no older than a junior in high school, signed a massive $5.1 million contract with the Padres in January. He was heralded as the top international prospect in 2023 and inked the third-largest contract for an international prospect— ever.

At just 16 years old!

Although he has a long way to go before reaching the big leagues, San Diego wants to get him every opportunity to grow and learn. To do so, the organization invited its youngest prospect to spring training even though he is... yes, just 16 years old.

Ethan Salas looked great in his debut!

Salas picked up a bat in the sixth inning against the White Sox and stepped into the batter's box as a pinch hitter. It was his first appearance since signing a professional contract, and while he didn't get on base, he showed good patience at the plate and got his bat on the ball.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound catcher really stood out behind the plate. Salas got to catch the remainder of the game and looked like a seasoned veteran. His hands are elite.

Salas ranks as the No. 3 prospect in San Diego's farm system by MLB Pipeline. He may not even make the big leagues until 2028 or beyond.

Even still, for Salas to be making contact against Major League pitching at his age is impressive. The Padres think highly of his future and want to give him every opportunity to play his way into a prominent role with the team at a young age. Saturday was a great start!

Where most 16-year-olds would be shaking in their boots at the opportunity, Salas could not have been more cool and comfortable. It was just another game.

San Diego is poised to be very good for the foreseeable future. It has all of the pieces it needs to win now, with players like Salas — at 16 years old — sitting and waiting for their opportunity.

Did I mention that Salas is just 16 years old?!